It’s 3pm and you just realized you have friends coming over for dinner. Quick — what do you make?
It’s always helpful to have a few go-to dishes up your sleeve in case you find yourself in a crunch time hosting situation. I can build a crudité platter with my eyes closed, thanks to using the same veggies every time and this unbeatable Green Goddess dressing. And now, thanks to Giovanni Rana, I can make a light yet filling pasta dish that’ll impress any group of friends in just 30 minutes.
The secret? Refrigerated ravioli.
I almost always cook from scratch, but I have a few exceptions — and ravioli is definitely one of them. While it sounds fun to make, homemade ravioli takes some serious work, and when there are great, all-natural alternatives, it’s worth considering going store-bought.
Giovanni Rana makes authentic Italian refrigerated pasta products and sauces that have no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, and GMO ingredients. And because the pasta is refrigerated, it takes less time to cook compared to dried pasta.
We served this Ravioli with Charred Corn and Basil Oil at our CK Summer Solstice dinner, where Giovanni Rana was one of our sponsors. It was definitely a crowd favorite, thanks to the tasty spinach and ricotta filling paired with in season yellow corn and fresh basil. While we used Giovanni Rana’s Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, you could make this recipe with just about any ravioli filling from cheese to mushroom to prosciutto.
Basil Oil Basics
We call homemade basil oil a ‘fancy fake out’, because well, it sounds pretty darn fancy, doesn’t it? The truth is, if you have a blender or food processor, you’re so close to making this easy basil-infused olive oil.
We’ve included directions to make this oil in the recipe below, but there are really just three key steps: blanching the basil leaves, blending the basil with oil, then straining out any small bits of basil. Since you only need a little bit of basil oil for this recipe, you’ll have plenty left over to drizzle on everything from fried eggs to salads.
What’s blanching? Basically, you just cook the vegetable in boiling water for a short time, from seconds to a few minutes depending on what it is. Then, you transfer the vegetable to ice cold water to stop the cooking. I love to blanch asparagus, because the process gives it a softer bite and brings out its vibrant green color – the same effect it has on basil too.
Give this ravioli recipe a try and tell us how it turned out! Even better, show us a photo on Instagram by tagging #confettikitchen. We can’t wait to see what you make!
What You Need
1 ½ cups basil leaves + a few for garnish
1 ear yellow corn
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package refrigerated ravioli
¼ Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings
Chef’s knife + cutting board
Medium frying pan
Blender or food processor
Fine mesh strainer
Fill saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile:
- Pick basil leaves off any large stems to yield 1 1/2 cups packed. Set aside.
- Cut corn kernels off the cob. Here’s how to do it.
- Fill medium bowl with cold water. Add a few ice cubes if you have them.
Make basil oil.
Once water comes to a boil, add the basil for just 10 seconds. Use tongs to transfer the basil to the bowl with cold water. After another 30 seconds, remove the basil and drain on a towel.
Add the basil leaves and olive oil (3/4 cup) to a blender. Blend until basil is roughly chopped, but not puréed.
Empty the medium bowl, then place the fine mesh strainer over it. Pour the basil mixture through the strainer to catch the basil bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refill the medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and toss to coat with oil. Cook corn on one side for 2-3 minutes until charred, then toss to cook on the other side. Avoid stirring the corn often, otherwise it won’t have enough time to char on each side.
Once the water comes to a boil, add the ravioli and cook according to package instructions. Drain the ravioli using another strainer, or transfer using a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
Assemble and serve!
Plate the ravioli and top with charred corn and basil oil drizzle (you won’t use all of it). Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and any extra basil leaves. Serve immediately.