review: trader joe's honey roasted pumpkin ravioli
For our first Valentine's Day together, I decided to make Larry ravioli from scratch. I spent all afternoon carefully assembling little cheese pillows. They looked perfect but the moment I added the pasta to the water, they simply fell apart into a soupy mess of ricotta, mozzarella and pasta squares. I was so disappointed that my first effort at a homemade meal was such a failure. That night, however, Larry took me out to dinner and we fell more in love over nachos at Fitzwilly's in Northampton. It turns out that it isn't always the meal that matters, but the company.
Since that fateful day in the kitchen in Massachusetts, I have tried my hand at making ravioli from scratch with disastrous results. I just don't seem to have the magic touch with homemade pasta. Luckily, store-bought pasta can be a good substitute when homemade isn't an option.
Usually we enjoy simple cheese ravioli but I've been on a pumpkin kick lately. So, over the weekend I bought every pumpkin flavored item I find at Trader Joe's including the Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli which was for the longest time sold-out. This week has been foggy and wet here in Seattle, perfect weather for a cozy evening at home sharing a plate of pasta. Found in the refrigerated prepared foods section at Trader Joe's, the ravioli took less than 10 minutes to heat in boiling water. My typical homemade pasta sauces (Arrabiata and Pesto) would be inappropriate for such a strong autumn dish and because the filling is so sweet, the taste should be balanced with a savory sauce. I made a very simple cheese sauce of Gruyere and cream and topped it with a dusting of freshly shredded Reggiano.
As the rain and fog swirled outside, by candlelight we tucked into the soft, warm, pumpkin-filled pillows. While I immediately loved them, Larry somewhat liked them. They were, in his words "like eating pumpkin pie in a pasta" which is precisely how I would describe it. The ravioli were indeed sweet and spicy, but if you're a fan of pumpkin pie, you will like these and unlike traditional ravioli filled with cheese which can be somewhat tasteless, these pumpkin ravioli have such a strong taste and are so filling that you really do need a small serving to be satisfied.
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli have a distinct autumn taste that is delicious if you really like spiced pumpkin. I think a better way to serve them (instead of an entree) however, would be as an appetizer, when you could enjoy one or two ravioli and then move on to something like a Pear & Gorgonzola Salad and a Rustic Chicken Pot Pie.
Nutritional information: Trader Joe's Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli has 240 calories, 40 grams carbohydrates and 4.5 grams of fat in 1 serving (1/2 package).
Here's to a happy autumn weekend!