This is my own creation that I came up with after thinking about the recipe for cheese tortolini broccoli salad I’d posted earlier. I wanted a hot version without the mayo and vinegar.
The more I thought about it the more I realized I wanted a buttery flavor. Since we were out of butter I used olive oil. Next time I’m going to try half olive oil and half butter (not margarine). Or maybe all peanut oil because it adds so much flavor. The salad recipe called for sunflower seeds and raisins. I had walnuts, not sunflower seeds, & they sounded really good with the cheesy, buttery flavors I wanted. I put about a cup of walnuts into a ziploc sandwich bag, squeezed out the air, & used the bottom of a jar to crush them. Easy, peasy. Raisins seemed too sweet for what I was going for.
I put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, added the walnuts & roasted them over the lowest heat I could get from my gas stove. The pan had a heavy bottom, but I still had to stir the walnuts almost constantly to make sure they didn’t burn. Burned walnuts would be ruined. Toasted walnuts have an extra sweetness and a, well, more nutty flavor. When they were nicely toasted I turned off the heat & let them set. I added some dried onion flakes & mixed them in at that point. Next time I think I’ll add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce to the walnut mix as the flavors go well together IMHO.
Then I boiled the frozen cheese raviolis in one pot and the frozen broccoli florets in another. I cooked the broccoli florets only long enough to be tender & still a nice color green. Overcooked broccoli is yuck.
I cooked the ravioli until tender, but not splitting open. I pretty much follow the cooking time on the package. Finally I put the ravioli into a large sesrving bowl, topped with the broccoli, and then with the walnuts. It’s ready to eat. I added a little bit of margarine to my serving; DH did not. I did not mix it all together much because I knew the nuts and broccoli florets would have a tendency to go to the bottom. It sort of mixes itself as you serve it. I used 2 bags of ravioli and 1 bag of broccoli and the two of us finished 1/2 of it in one meal. I’d use more broccoli next time. The amount of nuts seemed about right. If you think it’s not enough vegetables for a meal you can always have a side dish of veggies or a nice salad. I would serve it with a salad for entertaining.
This does not make a real sauce. If you want that you could use a thinned down alfredo sauce. I really didn’t miss it, but I can see that it could be good. We enjoyed the big fluffly ravioli so much that I won’t be changing to tortellini ever. The funny thing is that after the meal dh & I both ate a handful of raisins for dessert! They tasted extra good, too. I just don’t know if I’m brave enough to add them to the dish. Maybe a few in a little bit of it next time. lol
I liked this meal because it was so quick & easy to make. I can keep frozen broccoli and frozen ravioli on hand. We always have walnuts and olive oil around because we are trying to eat heart healthy. It’s vegetarian, so it’s cheaper than a meal with meat. The partial proteins of the nuts, cheese, and pasta combine to make complete protein like you get in meat. So that’s quick, cheap, healthy, tasty. Win-win-win-win. Not too bad!
You could make this with spinach instead of broccoli, but that would need some Alfredo sauce, IMHO.
I really liked this combination of flavors and textures. It might not technically be gourmet, but to me it is. Enjoy!