A quick pasta for Meatless Monday: roasted cauliflower and white beans paired with black pepper parmesan ravioli tossed in lemon parsley butter with capers.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram LIVE videos recently you’ll have seen a lot of organization things happening in our house. A paper planner, a grocery list, an organized drawer – all make me feel like I can be spontaneous… if that makes sense. Knowing the basics are handled gives me room for ad lib in life. Probably the most type A thing ever written: I plan my unplanned time efficiently.
When cooking and meal planning, I like to have four major meals planned out during the week and leave the rest to mixing and matching to finish up what’s in the fridge. With that said, I also like to make sure I have some awesome staples on-hand for fast meals. Think freezer soups, beans, tuna and the like. Ingredients that work with produce I’ll probably have on hand.
That’s where fresh refrigerated pasta categorically lives for me. A refrigerated pasta like Buitoni ravioli, with its simple high-quality ingredients, is the perfect fast hack to a home-cooked meal – just add other pantry and fridge items. It’s a food lover’s hack for busy people who can improvise with whatever works in your kitchen at whatever time of year.
I could take Buitoni each season of the year and make it into something insanely good and fast that works with the produce on my counter. For example, in the summer, I can use Buitoni basil pesto, cut up some tomatoes to pair with a pappardelle or I could grill summer squash and chicken – and skewer with tortellini. Autumn might call for a butternut squash roasted with pumpkin seeds and chicken breast over kale – all mixed with cheese ravioli.
There’s one equation to stick to when leaning on a prepared base like a refrigerated pasta (or even a frozen entrée – it applies too!): Prepared entrée + veggies & fruit + lean protein = a balanced plate (or bowl). Whether you and your dining companion are pescatarian, omnivorous, salad haters or anything in between, there’s a way to make everything work with this Balance Your Plate equation. You pick your entrée. You pick your sides depending on what’s on hand or what helps you make the most of mealtime. For me, I am opting for meatless so I’ve complemented my pasta with plant-based protein.
And yes, pasta can definitely be part of a balanced eating plan. It’s about portions and nutritious pairings, and if you flip over the package you’ll see a suggested portion on the back. In this case, it’s 5 raviolis, which, paired with veggies and beans looks like this:
Buitoni Parmesan & Black Pepper Ravioli + veggies (cauliflower and spinach) + protein (beans) = a balanced plate.
See how it works? An alternative here would be to add the raviolis into a fresh, crisp salad. Right now, I’m loving butter lettuce, celery, walnuts and a little oil and vinegar.
Black Pepper Parmesan Ravioli with Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Parsley Butter
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1, 9 oz. Buitoni Parmesan & Black Pepper Ravioli
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 5 cups/handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable stock
- 2 cups of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons capers
Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut cauliflower into florets. Toss in 1 teaspoon olive oil with salt and pepper and roast on sheet pan for 20 minutes or until browned.
During the last five minutes of cook time, stir in 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Broil if desired (but ensure not to burn garlic).
Make ravioli to package directions. Drain when done.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon butter with remaining teaspoon of minced garlic for two minutes until fragrant.
Add spinach and vegetable stock. Cover pan for 1 minute to steam.
Stir and add white beans, ravioli and cauliflower bits. Toss to coat evenly.
Top with lemon zest, parsley and capers.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.