Published January 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Packaged ravioli are super-convenient. But choose the wrong sauce and dinner will be a washout.
Once you cut into premade ravioli, the excess water trapped inside during boiling leaks out, waterlogging the dish.
We wanted a repertoire of fresh, easy, intensely flavored pesto sauces that elevated a convenience food to something worth making anytime.
Branching out from the traditional basil and pine-nut pesto, we replaced the basil with jarred roasted red peppers and the pine nuts with pistachios. Working some basil back into the mix added complexity, and blanching the garlic cloves in the boiling pasta water mellowed their bite.
Inspired by our master recipe, we then moved on to some variations. We paired an assertive central ingredient with Parmesan cheese, blanched garlic, and complementary herbs and toasted nuts or seeds.
There was one final consideration: how best to cook store-bought ravioli, no matter the brand or package instructions. We came up with our own indicator: Once the corners of the ravioli were slightly tender—but not mushy—we took them off the heat.list of recipes