Ravioli with Caramelized Blood Oranges and Escarole
3 organic blood oranges Kosher salt, to taste
1 lb (454 g) ravioli (traditional cheese or spinach and cheese)
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 head escarole, cored and washed, roughly cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) bite- sized pieces
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely grated
Grated Parmigiano–Reggiano or local cheese with a hard and sharp profile, to garnish
Reprinted with permission from Simple, Elegant Pasta Dinners by Nikki Marie, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Nikki Marie
Author Nikki Marie Instagram: @chasingtheseasons, Publisher: @pagestreetpublishing
Freshly squeeze one or two blood oranges (depending on the size), to yield 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of juice, and set aside. Discard the squeezed oranges.
Halve the remaining blood orange crosswise. Take one half and slice it into thin rounds about 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick and set aside. Cut the remaining half into thin wedges to pass at the table; set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt and add the ravioli. Cook the ravioli according to the package directions, usually just until they all begin to oat to the surface of the water. Reserve 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the cooking water before draining. Drain well.
In the meantime, add the olive oil to a large 12-inch (30-cm) skillet over low heat. When hot and shimmery, add the orange slices, allowing them to sit undisturbed to slightly caramelize, then turn and do the same on the other side, about 6 minutes total. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the slices to a plate and set aside.
Add the escarole to the olive oil in the skillet, lightly season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and gently stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the freshly squeezed juice and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze any flavorful brown bits that may have accumulated; the liquid will emulsify a bit as you stir. Continue to cook the liquid for roughly 1 minute more and turn off the heat. It’s ne if the ravioli needs another minute to cook; the mixture can sit until ready.
Add the ravioli to the skillet along with the reserved pasta water. Gently toss to coat. If it’s necessary to loosen the ravioli more, drizzle with more olive oil.
To serve, add the ravioli and the escarole to individual plates. Top with freshly ground pepper, grated cheese and the caramelized orange slices. The flesh of the caramelized oranges can be cut into and enjoyed with the ravioli and the peel can be discarded. However, if the oranges were caramelized well, you might also find the caramelized peel enjoyable.
Serve with orange wedges at the table for anyone who would like a fresh squeeze of juice, and a more pronounced flavor, on their ravioli.