Spinach Ravioli with Chicken

I had been craving this meal all week. I love pasta. I especially loved filled pastas-ravioli, tortellini, shells, anything. I threw mine under the broiler after assembling my bowl because I’m all about the semi-crunchy cheese topping on any dish. Especially cheese fries. I knew that I’d try to eat most of the large bowl of pasta so I filled the bottom half of mine with spinach to help me fill up faster without the carb loading. Of course I went on ahead and offset that good decision with half a bag of toffee but at least there’s not any left for me in the freezer tomorrow. I may actually see tonight’s poor eating choice as a reason to go to the gym. I’ve laid off all week because of this darn ear infection but the steroid ear drops have made a world of difference.

I’m unsure where I got these dishes but I always get so tickled to be able to use them. I feel so fancy and grown up-like I should be wearing an apron when I cook and drinking a glass of wine. Speaking of wine…

I had this bottle leftover after my play group’s MNO and figured it would not only make a great addition to the sauce I was making but would likely spark some imagination if I drank it while I cooked. At some point K fell asleep on the couch while I cooked so I figured I wasn’t doing a mommy faux pas by drinking and parenting 🙂

For the sauce I started with some butter and EVOO mixed with a few Tbsp of garlic. I cheated and used the canned pre-minced kind from the produce section. I have a huge disdain for cleaning our garlic mincer between cloves. There is a difference in the taste between the fresh and jarred stuff but I figured the Italian sausage and fresh basil would help me out. After browning the sausage with a white onion (Jer, I know you’d love this) I added a generous handful of organic spinach, tore in four basil leaves, added a 28 oz jar of whole plum tomatoes, and cut large chunks of fresh Roma tomatoes to add to the dish

What you don’t see is that I added a cup(or more) of the above white wine, 1/4 c sherry cooking wine, and 2 c. chicken broth. We didn’t have any fresh broth so I dissolved some bouillon cubes into the hot water. This made for a watery sauce but I had it simmer for three hours and to help concentrate flavors and take away some liquid.

I failed to document my chicken marinade which was 4 T. EVOO, the juice of a lemon with the rinds mixed in and 2 tsp each of salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and oregano. This sat in the refrigerator for two hours and then was grilled on the grill pan on the stove. It’s probably my new favorite marinade  I’m in a lemon kick as of late as you can probably tell from the previous few posts.

We used frozen spinach ravioli, topped with the sauce (it made a lot), the chicken, grated Parmesan  and fresh chopped basil.  I still had some mozzarella left over from MNO that I put on mine and put under the broiler for color and texture.

Unfortunately I had a green smoothie (spinach, yogurt, honey, apple juice, banana, orange) about two hours before we ate because I knew I’d want to eat a lot. I wasn’t even able to finish three ravioli with sauce and chicken as a result and was pretty bummed about it.

Again, this will likely be on our meal rotation of go to yumminess. K fell asleep on the couch before 5PM, didn’t eat dinner, slept (somewhat) through the night, and will surely be gobbling this up for lunch and dinner today. You can save yourself a serious headache by buying pre-grilled chicken and ravioli. The sauce itself makes the dish and was completed in no time flat, just take into consideration the time you’ll want it to simmer. You can also make a double batch and freeze for use over spaghetti, dipping cheese sticks into, or as a base for a cream sauce if you’re feeling adventurous.

Original Recipe

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce Italian salami, finely diced, or pulsed in a food processor
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained, juices reserved
5 or 6 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds frozen spinach-and-cheese ravioli
1 ounce ricotta salata or parmesan cheese, grated
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salami and garlic and cook, about 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes into the pan with your hands and cook until slightly dry, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved tomato juice, basil, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to high and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer while you cook the ravioli.

Add salt to the boiling water, then add the ravioli and cook as the label directs; drain. Divide the ravioli among shallow bowls, spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle with the cheese. Garnish with more basil.

My alterations
2 T butter
2 T garlic-minced
1 medium white onion-rough chopped
generous handful of organic spinach
four basil leaves
28 oz jar of whole plum tomato
large chunks of  three fresh Roma tomatoes 
1-1 1/2 c white wine
1/4 c cooking sherry
2 c chicken broth
3 lb sliced chicken breast
the juice of a lemon with the rind
2 tsp each of salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and oregano. 

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