A Squared: Skillet Ravioli with Bacon & Roasted Bell Peppers

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Skillet Ravioli with Bacon & Roasted Bell Peppers

Growing up, cheese ravioli in marinara sauce was one of my favorite dinners. There is something very simple and satisfying about that meal that I have always loved-- and packaged ravioli is an easy shortcut to make a dinner like that come together quickly.


While I still love the simple combo of pasta and red sauce, sometimes I'm looking for something a little more grown up. So, when Giovanni Rana recently sent me some samples of their stuffed pastas to try at home, this was a perfect excuse for me to do a little experimenting with my old favorite ravioli. Cheese ravioli is a blank canvas for kitchen creativity. So, when I found out that Kit at The Kittchen had also received some Rana pasta samples we decided it would be fun to share two completely different cheese ravioli preparations with you today.


For my part, I decided to put a sweet and salty spin on my ravioli. The combination of crisp bacon with sweet basil and bell peppers is a delicious compliment to the creamy chewy cheesy ravioli. I combined the ingredients in a simple creamy sauce, topped with a cheese and breadcrumb topping and broiled until a beautiful golden crust was formed. This is comfort food at its best.

 
Kit took an entirely different approach with her ravioli ravioli recipe and made a delicious Ravioli Lasagna. The ingredients are simple and traditionally Italian and a ravioli lasagna is a great way to fee a crowd without all of the hassle of assembling a typical lasagna. Check out her recipe here at The Kittchen.


And let me just make a quick plug for this ravioli-- it's really good! You know when you have tried refrigerated or frozen ravioli before and the filling is kind of runny and flavorless? Well, Rana ravioli will change your mind. The filling has that strong nutty flavor of real Parmigiano Reggiano-- it's delicious.




Skillet Ravioli with Bacon & Roasted Bell Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 1 12-oz. bag of Giovanni Rana Cheese Forte Ravioli
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped**
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted and chopped**
  • 5 strips bacon *I prefer center cut. It is a little more expensive, but leaner and meatier than regular bacon
  • 1/4 cup shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 5-6 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbs. plain or seasoned breadcrumbs *If using seasoned breadcrumbs, omit next two ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp. dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
  • Olive oil

Cook ravioli according to package directions and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat and cook bacon until crisp (working in batches, if necessary). Remove bacon from the pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Allow bacon to cool and then rough chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

Carefully pour the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add shallots to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in cream and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Remove from heat and add ravioli, chopped peppers, bacon, and basil to the skillet. Stir to coat and incorporate ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, breadcrumbs, basil, and oregano. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the ravioli mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and broil for 4-5 minutes until breadcrumbs are toasted and cheese is melted.

**To roast bell peppers: Preheat the broiler. Cut each bell pepper into 4 large pieces, removing stems, ribs, and seeds. Flatten pepper pieces skin side up onto a foil-lined metal baking sheet.  Broil until skin is blackened and blistered.  Transfer peppers immediately to a medium sized bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Set aside and let peppers cool, about 10-15 minutes.  Peel the skin from the outside of each pepper and discard the skins. Chop into a 1-inch dice and set aside.


*Editor's Note: The pasta was provided by Giovanni Rana at no cost, however all of the opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks again, Giovanni Rana!

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Alecia, so good! My husband and I were fighting over who got to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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