Sometimes stress makes me want to cook (well, bake). And sometimes it makes me want to do anything but cook. This week has been much more of the latter, so Tuesday night we ate out and Wednesday night we ordered in. By Thursday night, I still didn’t feel much like cooking, but our wallets were feeling a little light. Fine, I’ll cook, I thought, but don’t expect anything fancy. (For those of you wondering why I’m the one who has to cook: My schedule usually gets me home before 5, while S’s keeps him at work past 7 most nights. If I’m here and able, it just makes sense for me to do it. Plus, let’s not forget, I’m supposed to like doing it.)
I pulled out fresh broccoli and zucchini, thinking I’d do some sort of simple primavera with pasta, but I just couldn’t face the prep work. There’d be garlic to peel and chop, onions, herbs, and that broccoli… I know, I could’ve dispatched all that in under ten minutes, but some days even a little bit of effort seems like a lot. The broccoli and zuke went back into the crisper. When S got home, he waxed nostalgic about his bachelor days, when a can of turkey chili made a fine dinner. Did we have any frozen burritos? he asked. A quick look in the freezer: no. But I did spot a box of artichoke ravioli I’d bought at the local handmade ravioli store. It just needed a sauce. We had jars, but that seemed too heavy for a flavor as delicate as artichoke…
I decided to cook, if you can call it that, a very quick, very simple herb sauce. Essentially I chopped up a bunch of herbs, sautéed them for a minute in olive oil, and added chicken broth. A box of artichoke hearts, rescued from the depths of the freezer, added a bit of texture. It was about as basic a recipe as I can imagine, and it was good.
Tonight, we’re having something with broccoli and zucchini. I swear.
Artichoke Ravioli with Herb Sauce
Serves 4 with a salad, 2-3 without
1 package artichoke ravioli (or whatever kind you like, as long as it’s a relatively delicate flavor)
Handfuls of assorted herbs, finely chopped (I used chives, basil, oregano, and lemon thyme)
1 box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 cup chicken broth
Salt & pepper
Cook the ravioli according to package directions, but cut the boiling time short by 2 minutes.
While it’s boiling, heat olive oil in your largest sauté pan. Add herbs and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds, until they’re bright green and the aroma fills the kitchen. Add the artichoke hearts and the chicken broth and let it bubble—the idea is to reduce the broth somewhat. Drain the ravioli and add it to the pan—they’ll finish cooking in the broth, and it will result in a saucier consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste, and you’re done.