At the mere mention of spring, my husband pulls on shorts and my kids start asking when the outdoor swimming pools are going to open. The mercury in the thermometer is creeping up (well…actually, the numbers on the digital weather station in the kitchen are increasing…modern day stuff, you know) and despite the snow that still blankets the nearby mountains, the kids are begging to eat outside.
For our first outdoor picnic of the year, I wanted something easy. A dish we could scoop into bowls and cup in our hands as we nestled together on our threadbare picnic blanket sounded perfect. That’s how this quick and easy ravioli, tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and hazelnuts came to be.
Dreaming up our first picnic meal of the season came rather easily. There was a supply of Monterey Gourmet Foods™ products sitting in my fridge, set aside for a day when I wanted something really tasty that didn’t require a lot of energy or brainpower to make. Thinking of what to make for dinner really is half the battle, isn’t it?
With a base of Roasted Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli to work from, the pieces started to fall into place without much effort. I could have easily tossed the ravioli with some of Monterey Gourmet Foods Basil, Almond and Pine Nut Pesto and some fresh vegetables for a delicious, healthy meal. However, pesto had been on the menu the night before and I wanted something a little different.
There were a couple of handfuls of arugula left over from our meal of Baked Tilapia with Arugula & Walnut Pesto and Toasted Breadcrumbs that needed to be used. I tossed the arugula, some sliced sun-dried tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts and some olive oil into a serving bowl.
Once the ravioli was cooked, having transformed into tender pillows of pasta, I gently tossed it with the arugula mixture.
That was it.
All that was left was garnishing the dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, dishing it out into bowls and carrying it out to Station Picnic in the backyard.
Not only was this dish kid-friendly, but the flavors worked so well together that my husband and I decided we would proudly serve this meal at a dinner party with friends.
Looking through the Monterey Gourmet Foods website, I realized there were at least a dozen products I wanted to try, ones that would be appropriate for Meatless Monday meals as well as future picnics. My husband has his eye on the Butternut Squash Ravioli while I keep coming back to the gnocchi and tapenade. So many options…
With our focus on healthy eating, I am thrilled that Monterey Gourmet Foods adheres to their 8 All Natural Principles, which include a commitment to NOT using hydrogenated oils or artificial chemically manufactured additives, and ONLY using meat and dairy products from cows that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ravioli and cook according package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the ravioli.
While the ravioli is cooking, stir together the sun-dried tomatoes, hazelnuts, arugula, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
Drizzle in olive oil and gently toss to combine.
Add the ravioli to the sun-dried tomato mixture and toss gently to combine. You may want to use your hands to avoid ripping the ravioli. Serve and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
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What would you make using a Monterey Gourmet Foods pasta or sauce product? (If you’d also like to share a recipe, feel free to post it on your blog/website and include a link to it in your comment.)
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- 2 (8 oz. each) packages Monterey Gourmet Foods Roasted Chicken & Mozzarella Ravioli
- ⅔ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 cup (packed) arugula leaves
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (to taste)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ravioli and cook according package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the ravioli.
- While the ravioli is cooking, stir together the sun-dried tomatoes, hazelnuts, arugula, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and gently toss to combine.
- Add the ravioli to the sun-dried tomato mixture and toss gently to combine. You may want to use your hands to avoid ripping the ravioli.
- Serve and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Monterey Gourmet Foods™ is a registered trademark of Pulmuone Foods USA, Inc.