Italy Recap + Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli

This is a sponsored post by Giovanni RanaThis post contains lots of photos. If you prefer you can scroll to the bottom for just the recipe.

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to travel to Verona, Italy on a sponsored trip with Giovanni Rana, an authentic Italian pasta company.

Verona, Italy

I was in the company of a few blogger friends, Erin, Tiffany, and Alana, as well as dozens of people who had won a trip to Italy. Yes for real.

You can enter at the dinewithrana.com site and there are still three more trips this year you can win. Talk about dreams coming true and the trip of a lifetime!

MY OTHER RECIPES

We saw so much and did so many fun things (if you’re following me on Instagram you may have seen some of these photos) including a trip to the Masi Winery with wine tasting and a gorgeous four-course lunch.

Masi Winery, Italy

Wine

This cheese board is everything.

Cheese board

Shrimp and Artichoke Ravioli

Let’s not forget dessert. Lightly fried ravioli with a panettone filling, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. You guys seemed to love this photo on Instagram.

Fried Ravioli Dessert

We saw a short Romeo and Juliet play and although Romeo and Juliet are fictitious Shakespeare characters, their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, were real families living in Verona in the 1500s and this is Juliet’s (fictitious) balcony.

Juliet's Balcony

And her wall where people write and leave love notes to each other and to her.

Juliet's Wall

Juliet's Wall

We toured a centuries-old church. The architecture is astounding.

Church

I walked by this gorgeous case of macarons daily.

Macarons, Verona Italy

We toured the Rana pasta plant and although I couldn’t take pictures inside because all the machines and the production are patented, we concluded with a fabulous pasta making class.

Pasta-making Class

Pasta making was pretty easy. Just flour, two eggs, a fork to whisk the eggs into the flour, lots of kneading by hand, rolling out the dough, and filling it with spinach, mascarpone, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses.

Pasta-making Class

I think I did a pretty good job as a first timer. Not as perfect as the pasta that the pasta-making machines roll to 0.4 millimeter thickness but it was made with love. That’s what counts, right?

Handmade Ravioli

And that’s what is so amazing about Giovanni Rana. It’s a family-owned business started by Mr. Giovanni Rana decades ago. He gave us a private Q&A session and history about his company.

Pasta is family, pasta is love, Giovanni Rana is rooted in tradition, artesian practices, and inspires people to gather around the family table to enjoy a delicious meal together.

Rana Pasta

Giovanni Rana pasta is refrigerated. It’s not dry and doesn’t come from a cardboard box. The Rana family takes such pride in their pasta, in their company, and in all the ingredients they use. All the ingredients in the factory are tasted and tested to ensure they’re the best quality.

After our pasta making class we had a food styling and recipe creating session.

Recipe Creation + Food Styling Session

The ingredients to choose from were the most beautiful I have ever seen, hands down, and I have been to dozens of high brow food photography and food styling workshops, and these ingredients blew anything I have previously seen out of the water.

Fresh Produce

Purple Broccoli

Not a penny was spared and everything was ridiculously fresh, vibrant, and colorful.

Lobster

Cheese

This is the dish I created and photographed. It’s light, fresh, but full of flavor. Giovanni Rana 4 Cheese Ravioli, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and garnished with basil.

Cheese Ravioli, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Basil

The photos in this post were all taken on my iPhone 7+ but when ingredients are so fresh and the lighting in the Rana family’s lake home on Lake Garda that they so graciously opened up to us is so pristine, you don’t need a DSLR.

Lake Vigilio, Italy

The trip concluded with a gran finale pasta gala bash complete with a live band, so much pasta, and wonderful wine.

Left to right: Tiffany, me, Erin, and Alana. Such fun ladies!

Bloggers

Today I am recreating a recipe that’s a twist of the one I created on the trip.

Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli - Easy, ready in 10 minutes, and the ravioli is so wonderfully CHEESY!! The whole family will LOVE this light yet satisfying meal!!

It’s light but satisfying, the cherry tomatoes and basil complement each other perfectly, it’s accidentally vegetarian because I used Giovanni Rana 4 Cheese Ravioli but you can substitute with your favorite.

As a bonus the colors in the dish – red, green, and white – remind me of the Italian flag.

Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli - Easy, ready in 10 minutes, and the ravioli is so wonderfully CHEESY!! The whole family will LOVE this light yet satisfying meal!!

What I love about this dish is that it’s ready in 10 minutes.

Because the pasta is refrigerated you only need to boil it for 4 minutes to achieve al dente perfection.

Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli - Easy, ready in 10 minutes, and the ravioli is so wonderfully CHEESY!! The whole family will LOVE this light yet satisfying meal!!

It’s a perfect dinner for busy weeknights that comes together so easily and the whole family will love it.

Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli - Easy, ready in 10 minutes, and the ravioli is so wonderfully CHEESY!! The whole family will LOVE this light yet satisfying meal!!

Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli

Light but satisfying, the cherry tomatoes and basil complement each other perfectly, accidentally vegetarian, and ready in 10 minutes. A perfect dinner for busy weeknights that comes together so easily and the whole family will love it.

Ingredients:

  • one package Rana 4 Cheese Ravioli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if desired
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes; don’t overcook. Drain and set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, tomatoes, and cook over medium-high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until tomatoes have softened.
  3. Add the ravioli, stir to combine, and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the basil, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Optionally garnish with freshly grated Parmesean. Dish is best warm and fresh.
Only Eats

Post is brought to you by Giovanni Rana. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #dinewithrana

20 comments on “Italy Recap + Tomato Basil Cheese Ravioli”

  1. Your trip  sounds amazing and your photos are fantastic–what a great opportunity!! Your pasta recipe looks delicious as well…a no fuss preparation with quality ingredients. So glad you shared your experience:)

  2. Great pictures! Thank you for sharing your experience. I have never been to Italy, but I am from Europe and have visited other countries. Italy is on my bucket list!

  3. Wow! So happy for you to enjoy this wonderful trip–what a great variety of things you got to do–history, cooking, sightseeing–sounds perfect. As does your meal. :)

  4. Averie i am really happy for you that you got to experience the trip. I am sure your daughter wished she could be with you. Your pics are beautiful. I hope you are well. And Averie, seriously your recipes of 2017 that I have been trying turn out really well. Lots of best wishes!

  5. Sounds amazing! And love the photos. Of course, I’m always curious how they manage the logistics and transportation of the fresh pasta to the U.S. (that’s the industry I work in!). I’ll definitely look for this product next time I’m shopping.

  6. What an amazing trip! I love all those photos. I would love to go there, pasta is my kryptonite. Love this recipe!

  7. What a great trip! Nice photos. So much fun and a cooking class in the mix. Love those macarons!

  8. Good for you winning this amazing trip. What a gorgeous place, and your photos are wonderful. I almost feel I have been there! I am so happy for you that you got to have such a terrific experience. I can’t get over the colors of the broccoli!

    Averie do you happen to know what stores in the US carry this brand of ready to cook pasta. I cannot remember ever having seen it in any of our local stores (Bethesda, MD). Thanks so much.

    • Thanks! I didn’t exactly win the trip (although lots of people who were there did); rather I was selected as a blogger/social influencer to go. The colors of everything were just so gorgeous as you noted!

      I think most mainstream grocery stores carry the products. Check the refrigerated pasta section of your local market or ask the manger to help order would be my suggestions. Enjoy!

  9. ugh, i am hardcore lusting after these photos right now. i mean is there anything better than pasta and pastries in italy?! like that ravioli is out of control. i haven’t been to italy since i was a junior in high school, and i’m dying to go back!

  10. WHAT an amazing trip!!! I’m so jealous-as someone who is dying to visit Italy and a big Romeo+Juliet fan. And this ravioli looks so fresh and delicious!

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