As my preschooler was commandeering my phone during a well-child visit to our pediatrician last week, we came across a long-forgotten photo, a screen shot of a tortellini dish I had found on Instagram. She of course, scrolled right past in favor of looking at pictures of our animals, but just like that, I had inspiration on what to make for dinner later that night.
A little bit of searching and I quickly found the source of the dish, a great website called smittenkitchen.com. A quick scan of the recipe revealed two things: this was a seriously adaptable recipe I could swap in and out ingredients based on what I had and what my family likes and it uses a technique to cook the pasta I had never tried before. By sautéing the frozen pasta in a little olive oil before steaming, the raviolis quickly crisp on the outside, keeping their texture and preventing the pasta from overcooking and becoming mushy. A little bit of water in the pan and a few minutes with the lid covering the pan, and the already crisp raviolis finish cooking quickly.
A splash of heavy cream and the brightness of lemon juice round out this easy dish. A sprinkle of fresh basil makes you think of spring and from the moment you tear open the package of frozen ravioli until you’re sitting down to eat is literally ten minutes.
This dish was a huge hit with my family and I loved that I could make a great dinner in just a few minutes. I threw a small green salad on the table for my husband and I and the kids ate apple slices (just keeping it real). But the point is, we sat at the table together, eating a meal we all liked, that didn’t take long to prepare, if that’s not a win in the dinner category then I don’t know what is.
The original recipe called for tortellini and prosciutto (which would be delicious) but I didn’t have either. You can always use cream fraiche or half and half in place of heavy cream and dried basil in place of fresh. Don’t skip the lemon though, that’s what brings the whole dish together. As always, use this recipe as a guide to adapt to your specific tastes. Enjoy!
Crispy Ravioli with Peas and Bacon
• 1 (16-20 ounce) package of frozen cheese ravioli (or tortellini)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup peas
• 4 pieces center-cut bacon, diced
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• Juice of half a lemon
• 2 tablespoons basil leaves, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• Kosher salt and black pepper
In a large skilled pan (with a lid) heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook diced bacon for 3-5 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel.
Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the frozen ravioli in a single layer until brown on one side. Flip them over and continue cooking until both sides are brown, stirring occasionally to keep the raviolis from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle in the frozen peas and ½ cup water. Put the lid on and let them cook for about five minutes. Remove the lid and give everything a stir.
The water should have completely cooked off and the raviolis will be plump and tender. Remove the pan from heat and stir the bacon in with the pasta. Pour the heavy cream and juice of half a lemon over the pasta, gently stirring until well-coated. Garnish with basil, parmesan cheese and a heavy sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.