By Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith | November 16, 2011

For some, the idea of a pasta with fruit and nuts might seem strange at first, but we think that apples, cheese and nuts make one of the best combinations-and we think you’ll agree. Who can resist taking a nibble of gorgonzola and tossing an apple wedge and a handful of walnuts in for good measure? That very medley was the inspiration behind this easy (and very quick) pasta dish.

The quality of the ravioli is crucial here, so Ryan and I went to Raffetto’s-a New York institution-for some freshly-made pasta. Raffetto’s has been open in the same West Houston Street storefront since 1906. The store is filled with almost every imaginable Italian dry good and cheese, but their fresh pastas steal the show. In fact, they supply many of the city’s best restaurants.

The ravioli comes in almost every variety you can imagine, even some more rare iterations like squid ink. While the raviolis are sold pre-packaged, it’s still a treat to order a pound of freshly-cut fettuccine and watch their old-fashioned machine go to work on it. With the help of Raffetto’s pungent gorgonzola ravioli, we put together this full-flavored fall dinner in just a few minutes.

The combination was just as good as any cheese plate I’ve ever had, but in a much heartier form. The ravioli was dreamily rich and the walnuts gave a wonderful nutty flavor that balanced out the mild sweetness of the apple. (Any firm apple, such as a Gala or a Braeburn, will work, by the way.) A piping hot bowl of this was the perfect early afternoon, casual dinner. Even the leftovers were packed with flavor.

Ravioli with Apples and Walnuts Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh cheese ravioli
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 Rome (or Gala) apple, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Cook the ravioli in a pot of boiling, salted water for about 4-5 minutes, or until the ravioli float at the top.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the apple, parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and toss to combine. Spoon over the ravioli and sprinkle with the cheese.

Photos by Laura Ratliff

Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith are the authors of Smith & Ratliff, a New York City-based lifestyle blog. They write about food, cocktails, art, style and life in New York City. Follow them on Twitter: @smithratliff.

For more amazing recipes from Laura and Ryan, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

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