Ravioli with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

It is definitely worth making a batch of slow roasted tomatoes on a summer weekend because dinner during the week becomes a breeze (and a delicious one at that)!  I have always struggled with frozen ravioli–placed into a big pot of boiling water a number of them fall apart and gum up everything.  It doesn’t even seem to matter what type it is, they all become a soggy mess.  I decided to try cooking it in small batches in a low pan hoping that would control the chaos.  It worked! and made clean up much easier than a huge pasta pot.  It also gave me a richer pasta water to use for the sauce.


8-12 ripe tomatoes (depending on size), from a farm stand or farmer’s market if possible

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar

3-4 cloves of garlic (again depending on size)

dried basil or dried thyme (fresh thyme sprigs can be substitute if you have it, but fresh basil just burns)

1 t. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

one package of frozen ravioli in the flavor of your choice

ricotta or parmigiana cheese (depending on the flavor of the ravioli)



1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Line a large pan with low sides (a sheet pan if you have one) with foil.

3. Place 1/3 cup of olive oil in the pan.

4. Wash the tomatoes and slice in half across their equators.

5. Place the tomato halves cut side up in the pan, rolling around to coat the bottom with olive oil.

6. Slice the garlic cloves into medium thin slices and place on top of the tomatoes.

7. Sprinkle the thyme or basil on the tomatoes.

8.  Pour the balsamic or red wine vinegar over the tomatoes

9.  Sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper over the tomatoes, and finish by pouring the remainder of the olive oil over the top.

10. Roast in the oven for 2 to 4 hours, turning the pan after one hour so they cook evenly and pressing down lightly (they will squirt) on the tomatoes if they haven’t started to release their juices.

11. When the tomatoes have flattened and are beginning to brown/blacken on the edges they are done.

12. These can be made as far ahead as you want and frozen in plastic bags along with their oil (which has great flavor) in individual portions to use when needed. They can also be used right away.  If there is any oil left in the pan, sop it up along with the remaining brown bits on a piece of bread (that’s usually Kate’s job).


1. Fill a mid-size low casserole or large fry pan with at least 2″ sides about 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil.

2. Place a spoonful of the roasted tomato with its oil in the bottom of a serving bowl and set aside.

3. Add the ravioli 6 to 8 pieces at a time (3 batches are typical for one package) and boil until tender (check by removing one ravioli and snipping just a little off a corner.  That’s the thickest part and if its tender the ravioli is cooked.  If you snip too much, though, don’t return the ravioli to the pot or you will have a mess).

4. When the first batch is done, using a slotted spoon remove the ravioli and place in the serving bowl gently turning to coat with oil. DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA WATER!

5. Add the second and third batches in succession, treating the same way and adding a little more roasted tomatoes and oil to the serving bowl before adding each new batch.

6.  When all the ravioli is done still do not discard the cooking water.  Add a few tablespoons at a time to the pasta serving bowl mixing to create a light sauce with the roasted tomatoes and oil.

7. Serve, topping the ravioli with your cheese of choice.

Ricotta and Greens Crostada

This year we are part of a wonderful CSA from Weir River Farm in Hingham!  The produce we are getting is absolutely beautiful.  At the start of the season, a lot of what we received were greens–kale, chard, beet greens and escarole.  Any of them could be used in this recipe (and you could even substitute fresh cooked or frozen spinach to make it really quick), but for this tart I chose rainbow chard and beet greens.  Mixed with a homemade ricotta, it was absolutely delicious!


1 pie crust (either homemade and chilled or 1 crust from Pillsbury)

1 small or 1/2 large onion sliced very thin

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 T. olive oil

2 bunches of greens (preferably at least one of chard)

pinch of red pepper flakes

1-2 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 cups ricotta cheese (preferably homemade, but store bought will work, just make certain it is not too wet – if it is drain for a few minutes in a strainer line with cheese cloth or white paper towels)

1/2 cup grated or shredded parmigiano reggiano, plus extra for sprinkling on the top

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste


1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees:

2.  If using chard, cut stems from leaves, wash stems and slice into 1/4 inch half moons.  For any other greens, remove stems and discard.  For all greens cut leaves into 1/2″ ribbons and wash thoroughly.

3.  Heat oil in a large fry pan or casserole over medium heat.  Add the onion slices and the sliced chard stems, if using, and sauté until the onions are just translucent.

4.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for a few seconds until the garlic is fragrant.

5.  Add the greens to the pan and cook turning over with tongs until they are wilted and have given up most of their liquid.

6.  Add the balsamic or red wine vinegar and toss for another few seconds to evaporate some of the vinegar.

7.  Remove the greens from the pan and drain any excess liquid.  Place the greens in a large bowl and “fluff” using two forks so they are not in a clump. Set greens aside.

8.  In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, 1/2 cup of parmigiano, eggs and salt and pepper.  Add the “fluffed” greens and mix well, making sure the greens are evenly distributed in the cheese.

9. On a floured counter, board or large piece of waxed paper, roll out the pie crust to a round 12-14 inches in diameter.

9.  Place the dough in and over the edges of a 9 inch pan (tart pan, pie plate or even a cake pan will do).  If you want you can place it freeform on a sheet pan or cookie sheet, but there is a risk of leaks.

10.  Place the cheese and greens filling in the middle of the crust and spread it out to 9 inch circle, flattening it to made a disc but not pressing down overly much.

11.  Bring the extra dough up over the edges to form a 1 to 1 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

12.  Sprinkle the filling not covered with crust with additional parmigiano.

13.  Place in the preheated oven and cook for 35-50 minutes depending on your oven, until the crust is well browned and the filling as developed golden spots.

14.  Remove and let rest of 10 minutes before serving.