I spent Thanksgiving with family a state away- my fiance and I took the opportunity to visit the strawberry farm where we’ll be married this spring. She’s picked berries there with her family nearly her whole life- we’re hoping the fruit will be ripe before the wedding. We also ran from family event to family event- two Thanksgiving dinners (an hour or so apart), my grandfather’s 90th birthday party, brunch with our two families, and of course Friday morning shopping. (I found a little game shop, and listened to the employees engaged in a fiery debate about whether Twilight sucked, or really sucked. “I just want one of those little fangirls to come in here so I can give her a book about a real vampire!).
We brought two Ivy Manning recipes to Thanksgiving- shredded brussel sprouts with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette, and oven-roasted sweet potatoes with hazelnut butter. I gave her book Farm to Table: The Art of Eating Locally to Beth as a birthday present last year- there’s not a recipe we’ve made from it that wasn’t excellent.
So I’ve been running in multiple directions at once for the last few weeks, between family gatherings, semester computing projects and thermal physics finals. That brings me to today’s recipe. It doesn’t take long to make something tasty from the right ingredients.
This ravioli with pesto and olives is almost entirely a Costco dinner. The pesto is homemade- I used the last crop of summer basil to make a gigantic batch of pesto. I froze it in ice-cube trays and bagged the blocks of pesto for later. For this dinner, I started water boiling for the ravioli, put two sausages in a pan with a little olive oil and browned them, adding ten or so kalamata olives when I flipped the sausages. The sausages went to plates when the ravioli was almost finished, and two cubes of pesto went into the pan to thaw. I put the ravioli on plates, topped with olives and pesto, and had dinner done inside of 15 minutes.
Here’s the pesto recipe:
- 2 cups Basil leaves (the smaller, the better)
- pinch salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Pine nuts
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Put the pine nuts in a saucepan and toast over medium-low heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Trim the garlic, removing the root end and green shoot. Add garlic and salt to mortar and pestle and smash. If your arms are strong and time abundant, add the basil a little at a time and grind to paste. Pesto is far better this way, but I usually use a food processor in the interest of time (I have a little 1-cup mortar). Grind, crush or process the basil, adding the lemon juice. Add the toasted pine nuts. Add the olive oil a little at a time, mixing or processing until combined. Add the cheese and combine.
Store up to a week in the refrigerator, or several months in the freezer.