As soon as I spotted and read the package for the artichoke ravioli in Trader Joe’s — stuffed with three cheeses artichoke hearts and ripe olives — I wanted to try them in a light cream sauce.
However, the $6 price tag on a half-pound block of asiago cheese, almost made me put it back on the shelf, and grab the Parmesan, which was half the price. The asiago gave it a different flavor and more depth. It also melted in the cream much easier, creating a consistency that wasn’t too thin, but also wasn’t too thick.
Plus, it’s pretty quick to make, and it can be used on any type of pasta.
6 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 pound block of asiago cheese
1 container Trader Joe’s Artichoke Ravioli (or your favorite pasta)
fresh ground black pepper (optional)
Fill a large pot with water, add a little salt, cover and bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic into tiny pieces.Grate one cup of the asiago cheese.
Melt six tablespoons of butter in a pot over medium to low heat. They key to this sauce is being patient, keeping a close eye on it and stirring! I almost never stop stirring it.
Add garlic and let cook for about 2 minutes (make sure it doesn’t burn!) If you notice it’s starting to boil or bubble too much, lower the heat and then raise it again as needed.
Stir in the heavy cream.
Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a rolling simmer, till it gets a little thicker. Your cream sauce should at points get frothy and rise. Be care it doesn’t boil over.
If I’m using a gas stove, I usually let it get about 3 inches from the top and then remove the pot, lower the heat and then put it back down. If I’m using an electric stove it can get tricky. I tend to just continue stirring and keep the heat more consistent, which sometimes takes a little longer.
The idea is you want to reduce the amount of liquid by about one-third.
At this point, you should start cooking your pasta — how good do these ravioli look?!
While your pasta is cooking, add in the asiago cheese to your cream mixture.
Mix well and then grate an additional half cup of the asiago into the sauce.
Continue cooking on medium heat and stirring until the sauce it thickens.
Drain your pasta, or in this case ravioli. Make sure you let it sit draining for a few minutes to make sure all the water is out.
Spread a little of your cream sauce on the plate.
Arrange your ravioli, or other pasta, on the plate.
Drizzle more of the cream sauce on top and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
If you have more ravioli, or pasta left, you can make the same great meal for lunch. Do it exactly the same way. Put a thin coat of the sauce on the bottom of a microwave safe container. Add the pasta, and then add a little more of the sauce on top. Put the remaining sauce in a container and refrigerate for up to three days.
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