ravioli and?

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Joined Dec 2, 2003
I'd like to cook a nice dinner for a friend of mine. I was thinking it would be fun to make the whole homemade ravioli/pasta thing, but I'm just looking for ideas.

If someone wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear your ideas for a ravioli stuffing, maybe a side dish and an easy but fitting dessert. The only thing I have to go by is that the woman is a vegatarian(not vegan), and doesn't even eat fish, but loves cheese.

I really don't have much experience in balancing flavors well, but I was thinking of roasted butternut squash with either a sage butter sauce, or a creamy walnut sauce. In fact, I'm pretty comfortable with either of those, so I'm mainly looking for a side dish/appetizer to go with it, and maybe simple chocolat dessert.

Thanks,
Veggie
 
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Joined Oct 28, 1999
I am thinking Broccoli Raabe/Rapini as a side dish. Sautee it with tons of good olive oil with sliced garlic and possibly some anchovies, olives and diced tomatoes. Or, since your ravs are taking on a rich flavor, how about lighty-blanched green beans or haricot vert with some roasted pepper coulis. Or even a pinch of diced red bell pepper flecked on top. Or spinach sauteed with crushed amaretti.
For dessert, how about little truffles, individually rolled in an assortment of 'toppings'. You can do milk chocolate/dark chocolate combinations rolled in crushed hazlenuts, white chocolate shavings or ground espresso beans. Very elegant, but easy and makes a nice impression.
 
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Joined May 26, 2001
You can't go wrong with that kind of ravioli! :lips: Either sauce will work well; which you use depends on how much you like sage or walnuts (or how much she does, if you know ;) ). I lean toward the butter sauce, only because you may not know if she might have a bad reaction to the walnuts.)

You'll want to keep the starter light, since your main dish is rich. How about a mushroom broth with chunks of mushrooms in it -- lots of flavor but light on the stomach? Or individual dishes of ratatouille, gratineed with a little good Gruyere?

If you follow the ravioli with a lightly-dressed salad, then you can go on to your chocolate dessert with the feeling that you haven't eaten anything heavy (even though you may have :rolleyes: :). What do you like to make?
 

pete

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Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I always love Butternut squash ravioli with a sage butter sauce, but why not change it up just a bit, kinda twist it around. Maybe, instead, do a goat cheese and sage filled ravioli with a Butternut squash sauce, sprinkled with toasted Pecans.
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
For your raviolis, you can't beat the sauce ideas listed above. For the filling however, my favourite is a mixture of cooked split peas pureed with cooked swiss chard (squeezed dry), a garlic-rich pesto, ricotta, s&p and nutmeg. You can adjust to your liking with additional toasted pine nuts and other spices. You can also experiment with goat cheese instead or along with the ricotta. Good luck!
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2003
You should think about serving some sort of protein. Having been a vegetarian for quite a while and cooking for them as well, I find one of the biggest problems facing a chef cooking for vegetarians is providing a feeling of satiation. Pasta's great and your ravioli sound delicious, but unless she eats a ton of them, carbs will only get you so far. Whole grains give the stomach some work as do some veggies (especially crucifers) but without some protein it's very hard to leave the table without feeling hungry.

Cheese has some protein but it's fat content prevents it from being a main ingredient in most dishes. Beans are also okay. Baked tofu and seitan are probably your hardest hitters. Is she open to those?
 
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Joined Dec 2, 2003
My apologies for not responding more quickly, I got overwhelmed by work last week and forgot to come here and thank everyone for their suggestions. It's appreciated, I'll be sure to let everyone know how it turns out.

On a similar note, I was looking through one of my cook books and came across a recipe for escargot stuffed raviolis. Out of curiousity, does anyone know what type of food stores would sell snails? I'm hoping Whole Foods, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks,
Veggie
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
most gourmet shops carry snails but if you live in the Berkeley area then look to your local garden. All you need to do after sequestering the little fellas' is feed them cornmeal for a couple of weeks for cleansing and purification.
 
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