Black Bean and Cheddar Jack Ravioli with Warm Tomato Topping

I had the opportunity to experiment with a lot of new foods over the past few months. This is solely due to the fact that my husband had a rental car part-time for work, and we were able to make the drive to Fairway in Redhook (the REAL grocery store). They have so many uncommon and hard-to-find items, and just a generally great selection of specialty products at fair prices.

Unfortunately, the party is over. This may be the first and last time we have a simple dinner of ready-made artisan ravioli from fairway. We no longer have a rental car, and my husband will again be travelling far and wide for work. I'll miss him - but I'll also miss our Fairway trips for the selection of olives, cheeses, hummus, and especially the reasonably priced frozen faux-meats.

The last Fairway item lingering, besides the fresh basil that has survived over 2 weeks in a glass of water, was a box of black bean cheddar jack ravioli with blue corn pasta. I was reserving these for an easy weeknight meal, and waiting for the mexican mood to strike.

Tonight was the night, when there were no other options for cooking. I made a simple topping of warm tomatoes cooked with butter, olive oil and cilantro. I topped my plate with a dollop of sour cream, and my husband of course covered his almost entirely with crushed red pepper flakes. They were so delicious, I would absolutley buy them again. But sadly, I don't know where I'll be able to find them now.

Warm Tomato-Cilantro Topping for Ravioli
1T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2C (or more) Fresh Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 C cilantro, chopped (or use basil for a more traditional Italian flavor)
Salt & Pepper to taste

After adding your ravioli to boiling water:
Heat a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add butter and oil. When butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, and add the tomatoes and cilantro. Stir together, cooking about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

You're looking for the tomatoes to be about half-broken down - after they begin to release their juices, you only need to cook them another 1-2 minutes. The process moves much more quickly than you might anticipate, so keep watch over the pan the entire time.

Spoon the mixture, along with pan juices, over the ravioli. Garnish with sour cream or red pepper flakes, and fresh cilantro if desired.


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