Mixed raviolis provide a visual and gustatory rainbow. Photo by B.A. Van Sise | THE NIBBLE.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Updated February 2009
All-Natural Gourmet Ravioli & Tortellini
Page 1: Ravioli
CAPSULE REPORT: There’s no reason to drive to an Italian restaurant when you can keep fresh-frozen stuffed pasta this good in your freezer. Putney Pasta makes five flavors each of ravioli and tortellini. Two of the raviolis are as good as we’ve had anywhere, and—good news for less adventurous eaters—one of them is the Quattro Formaggio cheese ravioli, a flavor that will please just about anybody. Those who like it hot will love Black Bean and Habañero ravioli. This is Page 1 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
Putney Pasta calls itself “Wildly Creative Cooking.” Maybe when the company began, in 1983 in a horse barn in Vermont, its flavors were on the cutting edge, and the quality was cuts above most of the doughy, gummy frozen ravioli and tortellini on the market. By creating an elegant, thin-textured authentic Italian stuffed pasta that let the gourmet fresh fillings shine through, and using extra-fancy organic durum flour, Putney Pasta launched a premium frozen pasta line of fine-restaurant quality.
Since then the American culinary landscape has evolved: You can find a black bean or a butternut squash ravioli or tortellini most places. Today, Putney Pasta is not wild but simply delicious—accolade enough. We buy a lot of fresh ravioli, always in search of modern flavors. We are more often than not disappointed in their blandness. Retailers: Taste the brands you’re carrying now to see if you might do your customers a service by trading them in for Putney Pasta.
The ravioli are the stars of the Putney Pasta line (in Pastadom, ravioli, with more tasty stuffing, generally outshine their tortellini cousins). We are permanent converts to the Black Bean and Habañero and the Quattro Formaggio ravioli. It just doesn’t pay to pull out the pasta machine when you can buy products that are this good, and spend your time on another course.
- Black Bean & Habañero Ravioli (photo at right). We’re in love with this Mexican-Italian fusion recipe with a hot habañero kick. You can cool it down with a soothing Alfredo sauce, or keep the heat going with an Arrabbiata. You may not make Mexican food at home, but you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a plate of these! They’re fat-free, soy-free and certified vegan by vegan.org
- Butternut Squash & Vermont Maple Syrup Ravioli. In a holiday orange color, this flavor with a noticeable dose of Vermont maple syrup may be too sweet for some, but adding distinctive savory ingredients like toasted walnuts and fresh sage creates a carousel of flavors. You can top this pasta with a savory ragù or simply toss it with butter and grated cheese (the nuts and fresh herbs made it very special). You also can prepare it as a “dessert ravioli”—we’ve included a recipe below.
- Cheese Ravioli. A pleasant ravioli stuffed with Parmesan, Ricotta and Romano, this is good for days when you don’t want stripes. Because the more flavorful, festively-colored Quattro Formaggio Ravioli is the better cheese ravioli choice.
- Quattro Formaggio Ravioli. We love a festive, red-and-white-striped ravioli. You can enjoy these any day of the year, but especially on Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas. They’re among the best-tasting cheese ravioli we’ve had: The combination of four cheeses—Asiago and Romano along with the more mild Mozzarella and Ricotta—provide a delicious sharpness. Please, sir, we’d like some more!
- Spinach & Feta Ravioli. We didn’t taste this flavor. Based on the success of all the other ravioli flavors, we’re willing to believe this flavor is A-O.K. We look forward to trying it and reporting back.
Continue To Page 2: Tortellini
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