Trader Joe’s Lobster Ravioli with Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus

I wish I’d have taken a picture of last night’s dinner before I started eating it. I had no idea how good it was. But my hubby and son both really, really liked it, so I’ll post the recipe. Next time I make it, I’ll add a picture.

Dinner was inspired by the fresh lobster ravioli that my family and I love at Trader Joe’s, then other items gathered while wandering around Trader Joe’s. Of course, this will work just fine with regular tomatoes and fresh asparagus, though the orange cherry tomatoes are sooooo sweet!

Ingredients

Tablespoon or less of olive oil

1 pound/quart of Mixed Medley Cherry Tomatoes (minus a cup or so for snacking)

Half of a 12oz package of frozen asparagus spears (frozen was so much cheaper than fresh and it was still tasty)

3 cloves garlic, mashed minced

1/2 cup water

1 tsp lobster bouillon (or chicken, vegetable, or omit)

1 splash dry sherry (or two splashes)

1-2 tsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp real bacon bits

2 – 9 oz. packages of Trader Joe’s Lobster Ravioli

Directions

Start the water boiling for the ravioli.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and stir frequently for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, if using frozen asparagus, defrost in the microwave (add water to a dish, cook on high for 2 minutes). Cut into bite-sized pieces.

When the tomatoes begin to burst, add asparagus. Attempt to use a garlic press to add the garlic straight to the skillet. Settle for largish masses of mashed garlic. Mash the garlic with the spatula to further smash into smaller pieces. Inhale the lovely smell of the garlic. (Warning: this will attract hungry people to the kitchen!). Stir well.

The goal is to have all the tomatoes burst open and their liquid yumminess makes some sauce. Needing more sauce than that, add some water, the bouillon, a splash of sherry, a squeeze of tomato paste from a tube, and the bacon bits. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure that those tomatoes burst .

Now is probably a good time to put the ravioli in the water. It takes about 4 minutes to cook them. Keep stirring the sauce as it cooks down a bit. Add more water if it gets too dry.

Drain the ravioli. Put the ravioli on a plate and top with the sauce. Serve with rosemary focaccia (also found at Trader Joe’s) and some dipping oil. Serves 3.

Commentary

I’ve found lobster bouillon at specialty stores. It’s not organic, so Whole Foods won’t order it. Southern Season in Chapel Hill carries it, and it’s available online. I keep it on hand to make the copycat recipe for Chi Chi’s Seafood Enchiladas, where it really makes a difference to recreate the flavor of the restaurant dish (which is good, since the restaurant chain is now out of business). For this dish, if you can’t find it, I’m sure that chicken or vegetable flavors would work well.

As far as bacon bits, buy the real bacon bits, not the “bacon flavored” ones (unless, of course, you need a non-pork option). I always keep a package on hand, because I have several recipes that need 3 strips of bacon. It’s much easier to use 1 Tbsp of bacon bits/pieces for 30 calories than to fry up the whole package of bacon for three strips and deal with the bacon grease. And I save all those calories by not eating the rest of the cooked bacon that should have gone to another recipe! The resealable package keeps nicely in the fridge for the next recipe, too.

The ENTIRE recipe of sauce (minus the ravioli, bread, and dipping oil) has 408 calories and 18g of fat. You can drop that to 288 calories and 4.5g of fat if you eliminate the olive oil (substitute a bit more water). Now, divide that by 2 or 3 people, and you have a really healthy, delicious sauce. I’ve added it to the SparkRecipe.com site that has a recipe calculator. You can view nutrition as well as a nice, printable format here.

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