Chicken and Cheese Ravioli

Homemade pasta is one of my favorite things to eat, and it is surprisingly simple to make. Many restaurants have gotten away from the art of making dough by hand and our culture has become accustom to the taste of store-bought pasta. I savor the practice of making pasta by hand, and it has become a favorite stay-home, date-night activity for me and my husband.

With Italian music playing in the background and two glasses of our favorite Pinot Noir, we begin the process of creating pasta dough. We use these Ravioli Dough and Making Ravioli recipes from William Sonoma, but we knead the dough with an old-fashioned style pasta machine. One of us turns the dough crank and feeds the ball through the machine, while the other catches the flat sheet of pasta from the other side. Then we stuff, mold and trim the ravioli before cooking. The experience of making the pasta together creates much anticipation for enjoying this delicious meal, and it tastes like it was made in a family-owned Italian restaurant.

Ingredients for Ravioli Filling:
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Other Ingredients:
Ravioli dough (see recipe above)
Homemade or good quality store-bought marinara
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Place chicken, ricotta and Asiago cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse, until chicken is finely chopped.
  2. Follow recipes for Ravioli Dough and Making Ravioli.
  3. Heat marinara sauce and serve ravioli with desired amount of sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 40 to 48 ravioli

 

Pantry Pasta

We all have those busy nights when the fridge is sparse and we don’t have time to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner. My Pantry Pasta dish is the perfect meal to make during those moments. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, giving you more time to relax at the end of the day.

For a fresh version of this recipe during summer months, replace the canned tomatoes with vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the farm or your backyard. Cheers to making meals that are both healthy and convenient.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced and no-salt-added tomatoes
¼ cup white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles

Optional Ingredients for Serving:
Fresh basil, cut into ribbons
Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add beans, tomatoes with juices, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about five minutes.
3. Toss bean and tomato sauce with spaghetti noodles and toss to coat. Serve with basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.

Servings: 4

Note: For a 100 percent pantry pasta, use dried basil and garlic in place of fresh and omit the cheese.