Artisola sweet potato & herb ravioli with Artisola creamy butternut sauce

In the refrigerated section in the cheese area of Whole Foods, I found Artisola’s artisanal pastas and sauces. They’re a little pricey, but they were recently on sale at Whole Foods 😀 I got the Sweet Potato & Herb Ravioli ($7.99) and the Creamy Butternut Sauce ($7.99).

The pasta is super easy to make – just boil gently for 3.5 minutes. I heated up the sauce in a saucepan briefly before covering the cooked ravioli with it. There were 11 pieces in this package – so each person gets 5.5 if you share 😉

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topped with basil leaves
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inside view

I love the texture of this pasta – it was perfectly al dente. Also, it is gluten-free as it is made of corn and rice flour. I thought the flavor of the ravioli was on the bland side…I could taste the subtle sweetness of the sweet potato, but I couldn’t really detect the cheese or herb flavors (ingredients include ricotta cheese, cream, cheese, parmesan cheese, and spices). However, the delicious sauce made the flavor pop! This organic sauce was creamy, cheesy, and super flavorful.

I love that the pasta and sauce had no artificial ingredients, flavors, colors, or preservatives. The sauce was pretty amazing, but I actually preferred the Trader Joe’s ravioli to the Artisola ravioli – especially for the price. Perhaps I will combine the Artisola sauce with the Trader Joe’s ravioli next time 😛

 

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Trader Giotto’s Roasted Cauliflower & Cheese Mezzelune

On my last visit to Trader Joe’s, I discovered a new ravioli flavor – Roasted Cauliflower & Cheese Mezzelune ($2.99). “What is a Mezzelune,” you ask?

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the package got a little squished…

Apparently, it is a semi-circular stuffed pasta in the shape of a “half moon.” As a lover of Trader Joe’s raviolis, this purchase was a no-brainer. Not to mention, the picture of the big cauliflower head in the bicycle basket on the package is super cute.

As usual, I served these adorable “half moons” on top of a bed of Trader Joe’s organic herb salad mix, drizzled with Trader Jose’s Spanish organic extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of ground pepper with a fresh basil leaf garnish. This particular package contained 11 ravioli pieces.

This ravioli was delicious. I loved the contrast between the thin al dente pasta and the creamy, buttery pureed roasted cauliflower filling. The cauliflower filling definitely has a bold, dynamic flavor. The cheese flavor was more subtle – according to the label, it contains ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and grana padano pdo cheese (it seems to be like a parmesan cheese). Nevertheless, this ravioli is super flavorful. If you like cauliflower, you will love this pasta.

 

 

Pumpkin Season at Trader Joe’s!

October is pumpkin season for many…and Trader Joe’s is no exception! I enjoy good pumpkin-flavored foods, but it’s not something I typically search out. It’s fun to try the exciting new flavors at one of my favorite grocery stores though – I love Trader Joe’s for the great deals and unique finds.

Here are some new items I recently acquired from my local Trader Joe’s:

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli

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The vibrant orange and yellow color of this ravioli caught my eye while going through the refrigerated pasta aisle. Typically, I stick with the safer flavors like pesto or four cheese, but I was feeling adventurous and figured “Why not?”

The package says that it is 2 servings, and there were 10 raviolis in the package – so 5 for each person when you share 🙂

I served this with a sprinkling of ground pepper, Trader Joe’s Spanish organic extra virgin garlic flavored olive oil (a fave of mine), and a garnish of basil leaf. The filling definitely tasted like sweet spiced pumpkin and I couldn’t really detect the ricotta and mozzarella cheese flavors. The texture was creamy with a hint of something nutty, but the ingredients didn’t list any nuts so it may have been the breadcrumbs. It was good, but I prefer a more savory flavor for pasta and it felt like something was missing. I added Trader Joe’s Cambozola Triple Cream Soft Ripened Blue Cheese (another fave), and it was perfect!! Although the Cambozola cheese seems to go well with almost anything…

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Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

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I have been wanting to try this new delight since I first saw it on the shelf a few weeks ago. They have been strategically placed throughout the store by the other pumpkin flavored items, in the chocolate/candy aisle, and near the cash registers.

As soon as you remove the plastic wrapping, the delightful chocolate smell wafts the air. One box has 12 pieces and is priced at $4.99. Each piece has a generous sprinkling of red Hawaiian sea salt. The chocolates are approximately the same size as the images on the box.

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This is a two bite size candy – as soon as you take a bite, the creamy caramel flows out so you need to take your next bite quickly. This rich buttery caramel has a nice pumpkin flavor. The box says that it is imbued with spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, but I couldn’t really taste them and they weren’t listed in the ingredients. Also, the chocolate tasted more like milk chocolate than dark chocolate. I liked the sweet and savory contrast of the caramel and the sea salt, but I prefer a chewier caramel and a darker chocolate flavor.

Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls

I’ve become addicted to Trader Joe’s 12 Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls, so I was excited but nervous to try the Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls ($3.99). This dessert also contains 12 ice cream sandwiches, and I love their mini size! The box accurately depicts the size of these delectable cookies.

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When I first tried this, the cookies were extremely soft so I thought maybe they defrosted during transit between the store and my house. However, the cookies remained extremely soft after a few days in the freezer, so I think this is just the way they are (the cookies for the Mini Mint Mouthfuls are firmer). As a ginger-lover, I enjoyed the intense flavor of the ginger snap cookies. The pumpkin ice cream flavor is more subtle, and somewhat overpowered by the cookies. The ice cream is also very soft and will melt quickly, so you need to eat these fast! I don’t mind the softness though, and they won’t hurt your teeth like harder ice treats.

Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Last but not least, this double dose of pumpkin is a winning combination. The roasted seeds are flavored with sugar, butter, pumpkin spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), and salt. The seeds are surprisingly light and delicately crispy. It is sweet but not too sweet. I ate them straight out of the bag, but I bet it would also be delicious sprinkled on top of pumpkin ice cream. At $2.99 for an 8 oz. bag, this is a great buy!

If you like seeds and pumpkin flavor, this is a must buy. It would be hard to resist eating the whole bag 😛

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Which is your favorite? 🙂