Lemony ravioli and asparagus hits the spot for a quick dinner that is deceptively fancy. This is a pantry dinner for us as we keep lemons, onions and cheese on hand. Sometimes there’s ravioli in the freezer, but it’s more likely that I’ll purchase the ravioli and the asparagus from the fresh case at the grocery.
Choose whichever filling and shape appeals to you when purchasing your filled pasta. I like cheese filled, but once in awhile I’ll buy raviolis with a mushroom filling. It’s one item all of the local groceries seem to carry although the selection varies.
The meal comes together quickly if you cook the vegetables while the pasta is cooking. I like to saute the onions and asparagus and make the lemon pan sauce in my largest skillet. When the ravioli is ready I can scoop it out of the water with a slotted spoon directly into the waiting pan. A quick toss, a sprinkle of grated cheese, and the dish is ready to serve.
Lemon and asparagus work well together and the sauce doesn’t get much simpler. Just remember to reserve some of the pasta water if you need more volume to coat everything.
- One package fresh raviolis or other filled pasta, cooked according to the package directions
- One bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into petals
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- zest and juice of one large lemon (use more than one if the lemons are small, you want about a ¼ cup of juice)
- grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved
- Prep the asparagus and onions before setting the water to boil for the ravioli. Add salt to the water for flavoring.
- In your largest skillet, heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes.
- Saute the onions until they soften and change color about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and add the asparagus to the onions and stir to coat in the oil. Saute until crisp tender, about 5 minutes, add a little water from the pasta if needed to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile, cook the ravioli as directed when the water comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat on the asparagus and add a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese, the lemon juice and zest. Stir to coat.
- Transfer the ravioli to the skillet using a slotted spoon.
- Gently combine the ravioli with the asparagus and sauce. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Transfer to a platter, season as desired and garnish with more cheese.
If asparagus isn’t available don’t hesitate to use whatever you can find. Zucchini, green beans or peas would all work well with the lemon parmesan sauce.