Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chicken & Basil Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms

I recently found inspiration from a restaurant's simple plate of ravioli and marinara sauce. It was something simple, but bursting with flavor and the added veggies gave it great texture and freshness. So, I decided to make it part of my feature called "Ditto That Dish" challenge and make this myself. 






This inspiration dish, pictured below, is "Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms" from one of my favorite Italian restaurants, which is a little family owned place called Donatelli's



Donatelli's was actually featured on Guy Fierio's show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Check out Donatelli's photo gallery from Guy's visit here

The butternut squash ravioli was a nice change from the norm and I loved the addition of the asparagus and mushrooms.  It was all wonderfully accented by their flavorful marinara sauce. 

I've never had a bad meal here. They have fantastic pizza and offer other terrific Italian dishes.  I can see why they were featured on Guy's Food Network Show. 

The Pink Panther decor and props around the perimeter of the restaurant are fun, unique and change with the seasons. 



This dish seemed pretty straight forward to me, so I decided to make this at home and "Ditto That Dish!"

Disclaimer:  I’m not a professional chef and, for that matter, not a professional cook of any kind.  I don’t secretly know the restaurant chef - didn't sleep with him or her!  I didn't break-in the kitchen and snatch their recipe.  I don't have any knowledge of the ingredients they used, except the obvious.  My duplication process is based on just using those obvious ingredients and figuring out the others purely on my personal tastebuds and making my own product choices.

These are the ingredients pictured below.  In the past, I've seen Butternut Squash Ravioli in the frozen section and wouldn't you know, I couldn't find it anywhere when I decided to make this. 

Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but decided to change it up!  Instead, I purchased a package of refrigerated fresh Chicken & Basil Ravioli. Of course, it's perfectly fine to use frozen ravioli of any kind that you like. 




Marinara sauce recipe adapted from Gimmesomeoven.com

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 sprig fresh basil
Also added (not pictured) 
2 Tbsp red wine and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 

Vegetables:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 Bella Mushrooms (sliced)
1 lb asparagus (ends trimmed)
Salt and pepper 

Ravioli:
1 package fresh or frozen ravioli

Preparation:
Start by heating 2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium high heat.

Add minced garlic and sauté for a minute stiring often. 


Add the crushed tomatoes and the rest of the spices from the marinara sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Also, add the basil leaf sprig to the sauce and continue simmering for another 20 minutes. Before serving sauce, remove and discard the basil leaf. 


Meanwhile, in another skillet heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil. 

Add the sliced mushrooms, asparagus and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally. I put a cover on the pan to create a steam affect for the asparagus to cook through. 


Boil the ravioli according to package directions. Once the ravioli is cooked and drained, place vegetables on plate, top with the cooked ravioli and then sauce it all up with that wonderful marinara. 



-Ditto That Dish Completed-



This was delicious, even though it wasn't Butternut Squash Ravioli, I was still very happy with the results! 

Thanks to Donatelli's for the inspiration and I'll be sure to go back for more of their fabulous food. 

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