The Salty Table

Tasty Food, Salty humor

A Kitchen Revelation: Tarragon & Tomato Ravioli

Hello! It’s been a hot minute since my last recipe post…So let’s get started with this Tomato & Tarragon Ravioli.

This weeks post was born from two things:

1. An adventure with fresh tarragon. Want to know something crazy? I have never cooked with fresh tarragon before this. What?! I know, I know, it’s insane.

2. As I first mentioned on this week’s Monday Coffee Break, I am smack dab in the middle of the very exciting/bite-your-nails-off experience of buying our first home. What does this have to do with this post? Well, I’ll tell you. When I am stressed out I eat A lot of pasta. A lot.

Photo from Virtues and Vices

Imagine me as all of these women. Eating all of this pasta. At different times throughout the day. Hot.  Except I am definitely not wearing a bikini whilst eating it. No one wants that. Anywhoooo…

My use of tarragon came about after I was watching her loveliness, Ina Garten, make a drool-worthy mixed tomato salad. It had yellow, red, orange, and purple tomatoes, and a  simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper (No oil, though, because the tomatoes make their own sauce when you add the sugar and salt. Another great tip from Ms. Garten.) Then something magical happened. Instead of using basil, the go-to herb for tomatoes, she used fresh tarragon. She said it was amazing, so I decided I had to try this out.

Being winter, my selection of fresh tomatoes is not so great, so I decided to incorporate the tarragon into one of my favorite pasta dishes that features cherry tomatoes. I used my recipe for Spinach Ravioli with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce, and simply substituted tarragon for basil. Know I know you may be suspicous, “does this simple change require a whole post of it’s own?” The answer, is simply, yes!  This herb switch-out makes this a completely different dish and is a great introduction to using tarragon with tomatoes for those of us who are die hard basil peeps.

You will need:
Good quality pre-made spinach ravioli
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large sprigs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2C heavy cream
1/2C half and half
1/2C grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
olive oil for sautéing

- Boil your ravioli according to package directions in salted water and a dash of oil-drain and set aside-reserve a bit of the pasta water in case you need it to ‘loosen’ your sauce at the end.
-Coat a deep saute pan with olive oil and heat to medium.
-Add halved tomatoes to pan, sprinkle with kosher salt, and cook just until they start to release some juice
-Add garlic and saute, taking care not to burn the garlic- Not a pleasant flavorAdd in your cream and half and half-stir-and cook slowly- do not allow to boil
-Add in shredded Parmesan cheese-cook sauce slowly allowing it to come together and thicken
-Add in tarragon-stir-taste-adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
-Add your pasta to the sauce-sprinkle ravioli with a bit of parm cheese BEFORE you gently fold pasta and sauce together-this is an Italian trick to make the sauce really stick to the pasta. I also believe it is just another excuse to use more cheese, which I am all for.
-Plate ravioli and serve with additional parm cheese and sprinkle of fresh tarragon.

And that’s it! If you haven’t before, you have to try this, I bet you’ll like it! (Like it, Try it…Get it? Heh.)

See you guys on Monday for Coffee Break!

4 comments on “A Kitchen Revelation: Tarragon & Tomato Ravioli

  1. erika
    November 15, 2012

    You are too funny. You’ve sold me on fresh tarragon! I’ll have to try it soon. And good luck with buying your house! I can only imagine how much pasta I would be eating if that were me…

    • rebekahgg
      November 15, 2012

      Thank you Erika! I’m glad I could convert you to the land of fresh tarragon! Luckily today I have only eaten one bowl of pasta for lunch…I don’t know what will happen if the bank doesn’t call soon though…

  2. Happy Friday, Rebekah!

    I am one of those die hard basil peeps you speak of, but this recipe of yours looks so d-e-l delicious that feel myself being persuaded to head over to The Tarragon Side as we speak. Basil, I think there just may be a new sheriff in town …


    Great post as always, lady, and hang in there with that house-buying! Just think, before you know it, that’ll all be behind you and you and your family will have your very own place — exciting!

    Look forward to Monday! Have a great weekend, Rebekah!



  3. rebekahgg
    January 24, 2013

    Reblogged this on I Heart Ina and commented:

    The flavors in this sauce were inspired by a short that appeared on Barefoot Contessa. While making a fresh tomato salad, Ina introduced tarragon as a substitute for the classic tomato pairing, basil. She said it tasted amazing, so I had to try it. It was winter here, and the tomatoes didn’t look so hot for a fresh salad, so I incorporated the flavor combination into a pasta sauce. The result? Totally delicious.

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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Rebekah GG

Rebekah GG

Rebekah is a freelance writer and recipe developer. She writes on food and drink, literary fiction, children's books, and also occasionally dabbles in the subjects of slow living, design, entertaining, and home style. She lives in the Jerz with her hubs and their tiny food critic/comedian toddler.

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