Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli with Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes

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 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.


Colin's Mom said...

Yum, pumpkin and ravioli are 2 of my favorite things! I've always avoided most ravioli recipes because of the time commitment but these look so divine I might have to make an exception!

Kelly said...

I love the unexpected combination of flavors. I would never think to put pumpkin and cilantro together but you're right, it does make sense. Yum!

Pam said...

Yum, yum, yum. I wish my brain worked like yours.... mine only like to copy people. haha

Debbi Smith said...

So can you buy premade dough to make pasta like this? I could never make the pasta dough like this but I would love to make the filling. I LOVE pumpkin and would love to make this!

Joanne said...

I've always thought that pumpkin ravioli would go really well with cilantro pesto! Great call. Love that you added in the artichokes.

I make my pesto super thick as well - I only ever add in 2 tbsp nuts and 2 tbsp of butter to HUGE bunches of herbs. This way it's not too bad. Plus it's so intensely basily or cilantro-y or whatever that a little goes a long way.

K said...

What a great and creative combination of flavors!

Jamie Hayworth-Chin said...

this was delicious. i used fat free feta...and i don't think i should have. Keep em' coming:)

Lis said...

Mmmm, I love trying out different ravioli recipes. This looks delicious. Can't wait to try it! :)

Dawn said...

I'm dying to try these pumpkin raviolis! Soon....
This recipe looks SO amazing. I like the cilantro/pumpking combo.

Anonymous said...

I love pumpkin and pesto and artichokes, but would have never thought to put them all together in one dish. Love the creativity!