This recipe came from one of my favorite food blogs, 101 Cookbooks. The author posts some amazing vegetarian recipes, and I'm often inspired to try to imitate them. This one looked too good to pass up, so I gave it a shot. Definitely a keeper, and very simple to make!
- 1 pound fresh cheese raviolis
- 12 plump, chewy sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces)
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- a couple big pinches of red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 3 handfuls of baby spinach tossed with a glug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.
- 2/3 cup oven-roasted cherry tomatoes (optional)*
- a bit of crumbled goat cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the raviolis per package instructions. Drain, but reserve about one cup of the hot pasta water (important!).
- In the meantime, make the sun-dried tomato pesto by pulsing the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, thyme, and salt in a food processor until it comes together into a textured crumble. Add the walnuts (or pine nuts), and pulse a few more times. Set aside.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water in a large mixing bowl along with two-thirds of the sun-dried tomato pesto. Add the cooked raviolis and gently toss. Add more of the hot pasta water if needed to thin the pesto out - it should make a nice chunky sauce. Taste and add more of the pesto if you like - it's really a matter of personal preference at this point.
- Arrange the baby spinach on a large platter and top with everything from the ravioli mixing bowl. Top with the cherry tomatoes and a bit of crumbled goat cheese.
- *To oven-roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350°F. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated. Arrange tomatoes cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.
I used 4-cheese ravioli and Parmesan instead of goat cheese. The ravioli I found fresh came in a 20-ounce container, but it didn't seem to be a problem with the amount of pesto that the recipe made.
I've made this twice now. The second time, I used walnuts (I had used pine nuts the first time). Delicious both times. If it wasn't for the time it takes to roast the tomatoes, this would be a 15 minute recipe start-to-finish. The tomatoes are completely worth it though.