Growing up in a very small town in India, we did not eat very fancy foods very often. My grandparents lived in New Delhi so whenever we would visit them during our summer vacations, we would try all the new foods and that the restaurant scene of the capital city had to offer. I was introduced to good Italian food very late in life, given that nowadays the kids India also grow up on mac and cheese and pasta, just like their western counterparts.Jump to Recipe
Back in the day, the pastas, as they were popularly known in India, were just two types. Pasta in red sauce and pasta in white sauce. Then there could be the other accomplices like veggies and meats. Hence the “white sauce” in the title of this recipe. It is like an ode to the Alfredo pasta sauce that is prevalently known as white sauce in my homeland. Both Ms. Little A and Mr. Little V, if given a choice, can eat pasta for dinner every day. I try to keep some frozen ravioli on hand most of the time since easier and faster to cook than dried pastas. Cheese ravioli is kids’ favorite. I like mushroom and chicken too. Dr. A does not care for any kind much.
This recipe is one of the many variations of “white sauce” pasta sauces I make. And is one type of sauce out of many that I make to go with ravioli. In my opinion, the sauce should complement the ravioli and not overpower it. Another thing with sauces for ravioli is that there is no need to complicate it. Keep it simple, ladies and gentlemen; and use whatever you have hanging out in the refrigerator or pantry.
As is the case with most of the food that I cook, I added some fresh spinach for added nutrition and garden fresh herbs for flavor that cannot be duplicated in any other way. Bounty of nature cannot be beat. Both Dr. A and me had dinner commitments the other evening and I was scrambling to come up with something for kids’ dinner. That is how this quick and super easy ravioli came about.
This recipe of ravioli in cream sauce literally comes together in less than 15 minutes. I made a simple sauce without making a roux. Roux is a mixture of some sort of fat and flour that is cooked up to a certain color, which, in turn, imparts a shade and adds a body to your pasta sauce. More towards a traditional alfredo would be. This sauce is more “runny” which works perfectly with ravioli. A thick sauce would make this dish too heavy on the palate since the ravioli itself is rich with all the cheese filled inside. So go ahead, chop up some shallot (or not), garlic, spinach and herbs that you like; add a splash of cream, some freshly grated parmesan and stop for the day! If you were making it for grownups, I would highly recommend adding some red pepper flakes.
Ravioli in Creamy Garlic and Spinach White Sauce
- ½ lb frozen cheese ravioli about 250 g
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic minced (about ½ teaspoon)
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup milk or as required to reach desired consistency
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives optional
- ½ tablespoon chopped basil
- A pinch of nutmeg optional
- Italian seasoning to taste
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes optional
- Cook ravioli according to package directions.
- While the ravioli is cooking, set a heavy bottomed, nonstick skillet on medium high heat and add butter.
- Wait for the butter to melt and then add garlic and shallot. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add spinach.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes till the spinach is wilted.
- Carefully add in the heavy cream and start whisking. Keep at it till the cream boils a bit – about 4 minutes. Add in milk if you want to make the sauce thinner.
- Add parmesan chees and stir toi melt and mix. After the parmesan becomes part of the sauce, add the seasoning. Give the sauce a taste check.
- By now your ravioli should be done. Drain the ravioli and add to the sauce. Stir to coat. Sprinkle chives and basil and give one final mix.
- Serve piping hot sprinkled with extra herbs or drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Serve the ravioli with a hearty salad and/or bread (this focaccia is awesome).
Please let me know if you give this recipe a try. Leave a comment below or at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Love – Vaishali.