This recipe is all mine, and commentary runs throughout… Feel free to pin!
Rabioli & Salad aka James’s Go-To Meal That Isn’t Cereal
Start with the finest ingredients you can find rushing through the store after work. True gourmet meals are inspired by mental and physical exhaustion.
- 1 lb or so of frozen ravioli
- 1 small can Muir Glen tomato sauce
- 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 salad kit
Carefully prepare the rabioli according to the package directions.
In our house, an inspired Italian meal can only be made with our well-loved wooden spoon which may be passed down to the next generation in two short decades. Unless the quality craftsmanship fails.
How do you know when the rabioli is done? Why, I’m glad you asked! There are three ways:
- By the number of times your toddler runs into the kitchen asking if we’re having “rabioli and salad.” Or telling you that they like rabioli and salad because it’s “deeelicous.” Or just the number of times you’re interrupted by your toddler while you are staring at the bubbling pot and wondering if it counts as meditation.
- If all of the rabioli has fought their way to the top and some are busted open.
- By using your timer, but that’s a cop-out.
I melt a little butter in the pot while the rabioli are draining, but I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. You can jump right to the one small can of tomato sauce if you’re avoiding butter for some god-awful reason.
Now if you’re not avoiding butter 1-2 tablespoons will do ya. I use unsalted because I don’t want my son ending up on Oprah sobbing over the fact that there was too much salt in his diet when he was a kid. That, and it tastes good. Butter and tomato sauce are a good combo.
And now… the sauce! I like Muir Glen, not because they are paying me (they’re not,) but because all of their tomato products are damn good. Contadina is alright in a pinch, but it’s a bit watery. I’ve never used store brand versions, which may or may not be the same or better because I’m damn fussy about my tomato products.
It doesn’t hurt to add our old friends, salt & pepper. Or just pepper. The only two people I know who like to salt everything are my husband and my late mother.
Don’t forget about the salad! Your toddler might not forgive you. The most complex thing is opening the multiple pouches that are part of the salad kit.
Gourmet meals, such as this, deserve careful plating. Because every family dinner is a celebration of high-quality convenience food, I went the extra mile and grated some parmesan cheese for the rabioli. The parmesan on the salad came in the kit.
I say… I just spend a whole post waxing poetic about this. I won’t lie – it is one of my favorites. You can’t go wrong with “simple” and “remove the salad and it’s my childhood all over!”
Don’t let the look on his face fool you. I tried to replace spaghetti with his rabioli once, and I never heard the end of it. I’ll post a picture of him enjoying it immensely if I remember to pull out the camera in a timely fashion in the future. And, yes, my toddler eats salad. It is strange but true.
Leftover potential… It’s great as lunch the next day. I wouldn’t make extra with the idea of having leftovers because the sauce can get a little dry.
Freezer friendly? Only before cooking.