Last week, I made this delicious dinner, Pumpkin Ravioli in Broth with Vegetables and Beans. As I described in the post, I have a deep love of all things pumpkin, especially ravioli, but have a hard time finding sauces that aren't cream based. That recipe was a huge success, and I almost made it again with my leftover frozen ravioli!
But as I was making the ravioli that Saturday afternoon, I was brainstorming on what to do with the leftovers. See, ravioli making is a process, so when you commit to it, you might as well go all out and make a few batches. I'm hoping to one day locate ravioli forms, which do make it a bit easier, but for now, it's truly a from scratch, handmade affair.
My thoughts went from sauce to sauce, I didn't want something heavy, and since it was a weeknight, I needed something fast. Enter pesto. I absolutely love pestos of all kinds, from the flavorful fresh herbs to the variety of cheese and nut combinations, it's truly a clean out the fridge type sauce that seems elegant and is just so simple to make. One of it's downfalls though is though it's not creamy, it can still be very high in calories and fat. Though nuts and EVOO contain the 'good fats', and the calories are from a good source, it needs to be kept in check.
I like to make my pesto on the thicker side and use a bit of the starchy cooking water to thin it. I also opt for less nuts and cheese, and really pack it with herbs. The best part of making a pesto is it's foolproof. Keep adding the ingredients until you reach the consistency and flavor balance you want.
These ravioli would pair well with almost any herb, basil would highlight the sweet flavors, parsley would make it more earthy, spinach would also work well, but I chose cilantro. Pumpkin and cilantro are a common combination in Indian and Thai cooking, and they really complient eachother well. I chose to add some artichokes because I wanted more vegetables, but roasted red peppers would also be a nice addition!
I see another weekend of ravioli making in my future because it literally took just a few minutes to throw this dish together for an easy weeknight meal.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes
1 dozen Pumpkin Ravioli
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts
1 bunch of cilantro, about 2 cups, packed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
Handful of almonds
1 tbsp. EVOO
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp - 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt and add ravioli.
Add cilantro, garlic, feta and almonds to a food processer.
Pulse to create small bits.
Season with salt and pepper, add EVOO, pulse again.
Use a measuring cup and spoon out some of the ravioli water, drizzle into food processor and pulse to create desited consistency.
Add half the pesto to a bowl, drain ravioli, add to the bowl, top with the remaining pesto.
Gently toss to coat, add artichokes, toss, top with extra feta and serve.