Submitted by Barbara Engelhart
About the cook: Most retirees like me living in Southwest Florida love to eat out. There is no dearth of early bird dinners for 2 for $25 and that includes a bottle of wine! Not me. I love shopping for the best ingredients, cooking with care and serving with love. I often channel my Italian heritage because I come from a long line of masterful home cooks who unknowingly taught me so much. Buon appetito!
About the dish: A very easy dish to assemble and very pretty on the plate. The walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and crispy sage combine for a punch of flavor and something out of the ordinary. You can increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes, salt, and Parmesan cheese as desired. This is also a great side pasta course to serve 8 but increase the walnut halves for the top garnish to 8.
National Origin: Italian
Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
2 cups shelled walnuts plus 4 walnuts halves for garnish
purchased fresh or frozen spinach and ricotta ravioli, enough to serve 4
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons julienned oil-packed sun dried tomato
20-25 small, fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place 2 cups of walnuts in a Ziploc bag. Use the flat hammer side of a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to pound to a very find grind. Set aside.
2. Cook the ravioli and instructed on the package. Reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain well and keep warm.
3. In the meantime, melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomato, and sage leaves. Saute until the sage leaves are crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl leaving as much of the fat in the pan as possible.
4. Add the ground walnuts. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to thin. More if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Divide the walnut sauce into the bottom of 4 bowls. Top with ravioli, walnut sauce and grated Parmesan. Finish with a walnut half.