I am a creature of habit. This has been true for as long as I can remember. When I was in grammar and junior high school my family would go to a local Italian restaurant called “Carmine's.” I always ordered the cheese ravioli served with butter, parmesan cheese and garnished with Italian parsley. The ricotta filling and delicious pasta never disappointed.
As I have traveled around the world and moved across the country, I have become much more adventurous with my food choices. (Celiac disease has even facilitated my experimentation.) But sometimes I still miss the “comfort food” of my childhood. I had written off ravioli as a food I would never enjoy again with my gluten free lifestyle. Sure, there were gluten free ravioli recipes that looked amazing, but I lacked the ambition to attempt such a project when there were so many other recipes to try.
Lucky for me, Everybody Eats, the bakery in Brooklyn who created the canvas for my garlic cheese spread, also makes gluten free ravioli! (And not just cheese, but chicken and beef ravioli too.) I decided to try the spinach-ricotta filling in order to hearken back to the Carmine’s ravioli I savored as a child.
Unlike most gluten free pastas that have a slightly different flavor or texture (not necessarily bad just distinctive), Everybody Eats’ ravioli is indistinguishable from “regular” pasta. It is expensive, but for those special occasions when you just need to feel normal, it’s a worthy splurge. You can top the pasta to your tastes, but the sauce below flattered the flavors perfectly.
(I also used this sauce on some brown rice spaghetti from Trader Joe’s. I wanted to make sure my guests had plenty to eat in case I devoured all of the ravioli by myself. The brown rice pasta was good. Some of the strands stuck together and had to be thrown out but all in all it is a great option for a low price.)
Kalamata Butter Sauce for Gluten Free Pasta (serves about 4)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic sliced
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped italian flat-leaf parsley
½ cup diced kalamata olives
1 cup roasted red peppers, torn into bite-sized pizza
Heat a skillet with the olive oil and add the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. Add the butter, parsley, olives and red peppers. Cook until the butter melts and the olives and peppers are warm. Toss the sauce with your pasta and top with a good grated parmesan or romano cheese.
These amounts are approximate. Play with the ingredients and amounts to fit your tastes. It’s not low fat, and I certainly couldn’t eat such rich buttery goodness everyday, but I enjoyed every last bite!