Cheater Ravioli, or Awesome Sauce Lobster Ravioli from Trader Joe’s
Update! – This post has long been a popular post here, and I decided it needed a little update. I’ve added new, prettier photographs, and revamped the recipe a bit to make it easier to follow. This is a super simple cream sauce that is perfect with any kind of ravioli, really, and in fact, with any kind of pasta. This sauce is one of the first things I learned to cook, and I love it because it’s very fast and requires only a small handful of ingredients. If you’re looking for a sauce for Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli this is a great choice, because it really lets the lobster shine. Now, back to the original post.
Yesterday I got to borrow the housemate’s car and drive myself out to Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite places in the world and one I don’t get to visit very often, seeing as it’s not very accessible by public transport. Not only did I get to buy cheap vinegar, delicious marinated meat stuffs, and the above pictured lobster ravioli, I got to drive around town all day, revelling in the freedom and glory that is being behind the wheel of a vehicle. God, how I’ve missed it these past four years. God, how I wish I could afford to buy myself a little zippy car to zip around town in. Times like these I am forced to admit that I am a southern California girl at heart, wedded to her stick shifts and safety belts.
This afternoon of vehicular freedom was allowed provided I could transport Crystal to and from work–a guaranteed two hours’ driving time for me, but also a guaranteed late dinner. By the time we got home it was nearly 9:00 and I wanted something simple, fast, and light (it was very hot and sticky in our apartment).
When I was at Trader Joe’s, I did something unusual and bought lobster ravioli. I’m not sure why. I’ve never had lobster in my life. The one time I saw lobsters, live and about to be plunged into boiling water, it kind of grossed me out, so I’ve avoided them. And avoided things with lobster in them. Now I realize what a silly and bad idea that was. These ravioli were tender, sweet, delicate…and they are pre-made and bought from a market! I can only imagine how delicious they would be if I, say, made them at home. (The wheels have started turning in there already.)
I wanted to make a sauce that would be light and simple, and wouldn’t overpower the lobster, as I’d heard that it is some rich, rich stuff. And I decided snow peas would add an appropriate summery green splash to the dinner plate. [Updated: in my re-make, I served the ravioli and sauce on a bed of arugula; wonderful combination!] I decided to try my hand, yet again, at a cream sauce I learned to make years ago but had never quite perfected. It’s a very light cream sauce made without a roux, and everytime I tried it in the past, the cream would break and the flavors would be all wrong and it was generally a disaster.
Well this time it wasn’t a disaster at all. I don’t think I followed the technique exactly the way I learned it, as I seem to recall more steps involved, but no matter because this technique worked perfectly. It was simple and fast and very light and very garlicky. Crystal raved on and on about how perfectly it complemented the ravioli and peas, and without tooting my horn too loudly, I had to agree. The best part about this dinner is that it took maybe 15 minutes to put together.
So I’m ready to open the door to lobster and try it out in its pure, un-pasta-fied form. I’m ready to crack open claws and pull out tail meat. And I think for sure I’m going to have to try my hand at lobster ravioli for myself, because these were really incredible.
Now, if I could just cook myself up a car…
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 gloves of garlic
- about 3/4 cup heavy cream
- a generous pinch of salt
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the olive oil and butter.
While the butter is melting, mince the garlic. When the butter is fully melted and bubbly, add the garlic to the skillet and mix it around. A flat whisk is an excellent tool for this recipe, but a regular spatula or balloon whisk will work, too.
Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds, until it's wonderfully fragrant. Then add the heavy cream, in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the while. Bring the cream to a steady boil, whisking and whisking continually. Add a solid pinch of salt (probably about one and a half teaspoons), and whisk away. The sauce will eventually thicken. When it's reached the consistency you like, and coats the back of a spoon nicely, it's ready. Pour it over your pasta (or mix the pasta into the sauce right there in the skillet).
This is a very adaptable sauce. You can add fresh or dried herbs, chopped ginger, a hint of mustard, some Parmesan, whatever strikes your fancy. Taste it to make sure you've salted it enough. If it's too salty, just add a little bit more cream to balance it out.