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!