Welcome to the first day of Spring. Are you ready to enjoy life again? We will be putting our garden in soon, having already prepared the beds for this year’s summer harvest. Tomatoes and peppers are the biggies for us. We’ve given up on the idea of growing strawberries. The battle of the bugs has officially done us in. I might plant herbs in the bed where the berries had been. Or more tomatoes. We are still in research mode.
Today is National Ravioli Day. Confession time, years ago I bought a Pasta Maker at a garage sale. It was complete with the exception of an instruction book. Thus far internet searches have failed to produce an owners manual that I understand, so in the box it has sat for some years now. I think when I originally bought it, I was much more ambitions than I am these days. Besides, it’s so much more convenient to buy pastas in the refrigerated section of our mega markets.
Ravioli are little pillows of pasta heaven. Filled with everything from cheeses to sausage and just about anything in between, Raviolis are limited only by imagination. Once upon a time, commercially prepared Ravioli was not as broad as it is today. Thank goodness America’s quest for ravioli has evolved beyond Chef Boyardee’s popular canned ravioli. I will confess, a few months back our store was running a special on Chef Boyardee’s Ravioli. It’s amazing how feeling nostalgic can cloud reality. We bought a can. No matter how much I doctored the contents, there was no way transform the canned version of Ravioli fit for adult consumption.
When it comes to Ravioli, or any stuffed pasta pillows, I swear by Giovanni Rana Pastas. You’ll find them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. When compared to some other brands, Giovanni Rana is a bit pricy. But then again, you get what you pay for and when it comes to commercially processed pastas, Giovanni Rana makes theirs with quality ingredients.
This is the perfect way to celebrate National Ravioli Day and herald in a brand new spring. Here’s to the simple pleasures of life!
Chicken Ravioli Piccata
2 (10 oz) Rana Chicken and Roasted Garlic Ravioli
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Shallots, minced
3 tablespoons Capers or to taste
6 tablespoons cold Butter
2 teaspoons Flour
1/3 cup White Wine
2/3 cup Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, garnish
Parsley Flakes, garnish
Parmesan Cheese, garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the ravioli and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the water comes to a boil and the ravioli cooks, make the Piccata Sauce. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Finely mince or grate shallot, set aside. Drain and rinse capers, set aside.
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Keep remaining butter in the refrigerator until ready to use. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan and add minced garlic and shallots. Swirl the mixture in butter, sauté for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Sprinkle flour over the garlic butter and allow to cook for another 30 seconds.
Slowly add wine to the pan to deglaze, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Slowly drizzle chicken stock to the pan, whisking to blend. Reduce heat to low, allow sauce to simmer and heat through. Add capers and lemon juice.
Remove from heat, whisk in remaining butter one tablespoon at a time, letting butter melt into the sauce before adding the next. Add ravioli to the pan. Spoon sauce over the ravioli, return to low heat and warm through.
Garnish with parsley flakes red pepper flakes and a kiss of Parmesan Cheese just before serving. Transfer to a nice serving bowl for a pretty presentation or serve straight from the pan for a more rustic feel.
Inspired by Little Spice Jar
Serve with warm bread, a nice salad and a crisp bottle of well-chilled white wine for a lovely supper.