Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bacon and Pea Ravioli

So you bought a can of tomato paste but your recipe called for 1 tbsp. What in the world are you supposed to do with the rest of it? If you are like me (my old self, that is), you close the top back on the can, throw it into the fridge, and cross your fingers that you remember it is there and that when you pull it back out, no green fuzz has sprouted. Those days, however, are in the past. Now you're more intelligent and you realized that you should probably scoop the tomato paste into 1/2 tbsp piles, freeze them on a cookie sheet for a few hours, and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Now you can grab one, two, three, four whenever you need tomato paste. Say goodbye to your green fuzz and hello to saving 89 cents each time you need a little bit.

As a side note, Rachael Ray uses this nifty resealable tube of tomato paste on her shows. I searched my grocery store high and low but could not find it. So this option is second best, and truthfully more convenient to me.     

So what can you use your frozen tomato paste for? How about this quick and easy ravioli?

Bacon and Pea Ravioli (adapted significantly from Food Network Magazine)
1/2 lb cheese filled ravioli
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp half and half
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cook the ravioli according to the package. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, cook the pieces of bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. If you have more than approximately 1 tbsp bacon fat, remove some. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook about 1 minute. Add the 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the half and half and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the ravioli, peas and parsley and toss to coat completely.

Serves 2.


  1. Awesome tip for the tomato paste! I have seen the tube of paste in the grocery store next to the tubes of pre-chopped herbs in the produce section, but it was really expensive! Especially if you can get the jar for 79 cents :)

    1. I don't think I've even seen it there... I bought some of the pre-chopped herbs in a tube the other week because I had a coupon so I'm guessing I would have seen it. But truthfully the money would sway me towards the freezing the can anyway ;)