Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

For the sun-dried tomato lovers out there. Goat-cheese raviolis tossed in a sun-dried tomato red pesto sauce, served over baby spinach.

Red Pesto Ravioli

This one is for Wayne who has a real soft-spot for sun-dried tomatoes. He says to me - they are to tomatoes what espresso is to coffee. No doubt, there are many things to like about sun-dried tomatoes. I too appreciate their intensity of flavor. And I love their pretty-ugliness - all those blackened wrinkles and that rusted-red patina. Every time I cook with these little tongues of flavor I scold myself for not using them more often - this time in particular. I made a walnut-studded red pesto sauce by casting sun-dried tomatoes in the role basil typically plays. I tossed the pesto with goat cheese raviolis and and served them on a bed of baby spinach. I happened to have some left-over oven-roasted tomatoes on hand, and grabbed for those as well. Their sweetness played off the goat cheese, spinach, and pesto so nicely, but you can certainly leave that component out if you're trying to pull things together quickly, and don't want to bother heating the oven.

Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

The key to a recipe like this is sourcing good tomatoes. Not all sun-dried tomatoes are created equally. I regularly come across bags full of dried tomatoes that are more like crisps than anything else. No good - pass on those. Look for slightly plump, pliable, chewy, sun-dried tomatoes. They are far easier to work with and taste better.

Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

You can serve this warm or at room temperature. The spinach ends up wilting a bit under the hot raviolis - just what you want.

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Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

Sometimes sun-dried tomatoes have hard parts near stem - trim those. I used goat cheese raviolis here - goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are a classic pairing, but I imaging you could substitute any number of other stuffed or un-stuffed pasta. Vegans, try this with penne, and skip the cheese - the pesto will get caught in the middle of all the tubes and be delicious. Lastly, fresh raviolis seem to be sold by the pound or in 12-ounce containers - because you are saucing 'to taste' either will work.

1 pound fresh cheese raviolis
12 plump, chewy sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces)
2 medium cloves garlic
a couple big pinches of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted

3 handfuls of baby spinach tossed with a glug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.
2/3 cup oven-roasted cherry tomatoes (optional)*
a bit of crumbled goat cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the raviolis per package instructions. Drain, but reserve about one cup of the hot pasta water (important!).

In the meantime, make the sun-dried tomato pesto by pulsing the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, thyme, and salt in a food processor until it comes together into a textured crumble. Add the walnuts, and pulse a few more times - see photo. Set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water in a large mixing bowl along with two-thirds of the sun-dried tomato pesto. Add the cooked raviolis and gently toss. Add more of the hot pasta water if needed to thin the pesto out - it should make a nice chunky sauce. Taste and add more of the pesto if you like - it's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

Arrange the baby spinach on a large platter and top with everything from the ravioli mixing bowl. Top with the cherry tomatoes and a bit of crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 2 - 4.

*To oven-roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated. Arrange tomatoes cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mintutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

I love sun-dried tomatoes, but the oven-roasted tomatoes sounds very interesting.

I have to admit, I'll take my tomatoes fresh off the vine any day. Since that's not an option for more than half the year though, I'm going to try to sun-dry my own this year, since we have a bumper crop right now of the small drying ones. I'm collecting recipes for later in the year, when it's time to use up my preserved stuff -- dried tomatoes, pestoed basil in ice cube trays. So thanks for the addition to the collection.

I love different riffs on pesto. This looks fantastic.

what's your verdict on the olive oil packed sun-dried tomatoes?

Oh, this looks delicious! I would eat this over a variety of veggies. Including but not limited to roasted asparagus or broccoli (bite size) tossed with some olive oil and a twist of lemon.

Oh my goodness! My mouth hangs open as I read this! I've been drying my own garden tomatoes lately, and can't wait to use them in this gorgeous dish!

This looks amazing. I love this combination of ingredients, and I have a packet of sundried tomatoes at home that I have been waiting to use.

It's funny you should post this. I have been experiementing with pestos too in an effort to use up a bumper crop of herbs in my garden. I just posted a recipe for mint pesto. This looks delicious! I will definitely have to give this a try! Any excuse to use sun-dried tomatoes is a good one.

Love your site - just discovered it and can't wait to try the sun-dried tomatoes and ravioli.

I love love love sun-dried tomato pesto. Down here most places make it with chipotle peppers in it too. Give it a try... I think you'll love it based on how often you use chipotle in your food! :)

I feel soo hungry now. I want to head over to the store and buy my groceries all over again this week so that I can enjoy something like this. I guess I have to save it for next week. Very inspiring.

Anonymous

i'm so in love with your blog. I've shared it with many friends and find your photos as much art as your delicious meals. This one looks particularly amazing.

Anonymous

This looks wonderful. We have a bag of sundried tomatoes we brought back from Italy and we need to use them up because we are moving in a month. Will make this soon!

I love sun dried tomatoes, and wishing my family would as much as me. I think this recipe is a good way to try to change their minds! Thanks, as ever, a winner!

Trish in MO

Oh my, this looks so fantastic. Can't wait to try it. Thanks!

This looks absolutely amazing! I have been looking for interesting recipes to use up a jar of sun dried tomatoes that have been sitting dejectedly in my pantry! Can't wait to try it!

Calantha Elsby

Sun-dried tomatoes are a favorite of mine! One of those things that I see on the menu and instantly gravitate towards. This looks incredible.

Sun-dried tomatoes are a favorite of mine! One of those things that I see on the menu and instantly gravitate towards. This looks incredible.

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