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5 from 1 vote

Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce

Servings 2 to 4 people (2 as a full meal, 4 with a side)


  • Saucepan or pot (for cooking the ravioli)
  • Large skillet


  • 1/4  cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound  cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2  tsp  kosher salt
  • 1/4  tsp  black pepper
  • 8 -ounce  package of Trader Joe’s Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli  (or other fresh ravioli or tortellini!)
  • 1/4  cup  grated parmesan cheese  (the powder-y kind, not the shredded kind), plus more for garnish
  • 1/4  cup  torn basil, plus more for garnish


  • Extra-virgin olive oil—>  normal olive oil, but we get a lot of our sauce flavor from the EVOO!
  • Garlic—>  You can omit, and add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder when you add in the pasta water etc.
  • Cherry tomatoes—>  any chopped up tomatoes will do the trick!
  • Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli—>  any ravioli or tortellini from any store! Normal pasta (penne, rotini, etc.) is also fab here! TJs has several ravioli varieties that would all be delicious with this sauce - I was there today and saw a corn one that would be great!
  • Parmesan cheese—>  you can omit this cheese if you want! The pasta water makes things plenty creamy. You just might need to add another pinch of salt to your pasta since the parm adds a lot of salty umami flavor
  • Basil—>  you can also omit this! Or add a pinch of whatever Italian-ish dried herb you have. Want to add greens to your pasta? Add 1 or 2 cups of chopped spinach or kale when you add the pasta water. You might need an extra splash of pasta water. 


  • Warm 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add 1 pound cherry tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are beginning to burst.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook 8 ounces ravioli for 3 minutes when the tomatoes are looking near-ready. DO NOT DRAIN THE WATER, YOU NEED IT FOR YOUR SAUCE!
  • Smash most of the tomatoes gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Remove skillet from heat.
  • Add the cooked ravioli, 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese to the tomato mixture and toss to combine until a silky sauce coats the ravioli.
  • Add in 1/4 cup torn basil and toss to combine.Serve immediately, garnished with more basil and parmesan.


  • Easily doubles for a crowd!
  • In the mood for a smooth tomato sauce? Transfer the olive oil, garlic, and tomato mixture to a blender once the tomatoes are starting to burst. Add the pasta water and parmesan and blend until smooth.
Author: Caroline Chambers