Monday, November 3, 2014

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach, etc.

When I was living in California, a friend told me that she only made pasta dishes that were mostly not pasta. Her saying this came as a revelation. Using pasta as a vehicle for more nutritious ingredients, like vegetables and proteins, not only removes  the negative connotations around an otherwise carb-heavy dish but also transforms the meal into something more balanced. What a notion.

Today was cold and windy, and I wanted something relatively healthy that didn't take too much time to prepare: butternut squash ravioli with spinach, toasted almonds, and sautéed garlic. And while I used much more raw spinach than uncooked pasta, the spinach wilted down so much that the volume ratio ended up being almost 1:1. Anyway, it was delicious. 

  • 1 box of refrigerated butternut squash ravioli (I used one from Trader Joe's.)
  • 1 tbs of salt (+ a bit more for sprinkling)
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 2 tbs. of sliced almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. of baby spinach (Make sure the spinach is fully dried after washing.) 
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese and a dash of pepper

  • Set a pot of water to boil. Add the salt.
  • Chop the garlic cloves into pieces about the size of a pea.
  • In a sauce pan, combine the olive oil, almonds, and garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Set on medium high heat. Swirl around with a wooden spoon.
  • When the pot of water is boiling, add the ravioli to it.
  • When the garlic and almonds begin to brown, add the spinach to the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, and cover with a lid. Leave it covered for 1 full minute.
  • After 1 minute, remove the lid from the pan, and incorporate the spinach, almonds, and garlic with a wooden spoon.
  • When the pasta is done (reference the box's directions for cook time), drain the pasta and add the ravioli to the sauce pan.
  • Cook over low medium heat for about a minute.
  • Add cheese, pepper, and salt as desired.
  • Serve.

30 minutes total time. Feeds 2.

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