DesBrisay Dines

A Ravioli To Top Them All — Belleville’s Pasta Tavola

I’ve worked my way through a heroic amount of frozen ravioli in my day, but this one tops them all. By a long shot.

The latest stuffing in the Pasta Tavola line has been out for a while, apparently, but it was new to me. It’s called Tuscan Bean. I wouldn’t have bought it but for the enthusiasm of the Seed to Sausage woman wrapping up my steak. And having tasted it, I think the sisters who run Pasta Tavola should come with a sexier name, for these are far more luxurious than they sound.

Mascarpone might be the key. Or the buttery leeks and sharp cheddar, which all keep fine company with the mashed, slightly gritty cannellini beans. But kudos too for their pouch womb. So often frozen ravioli boils up doughy and uneven, the thick seals still raw as their centres overcook. Not these. The pasta is remarkable thin but sturdy enough to hold together, and the ratio of filling to dough is bang on.

I first bumped into the Watts sisters, Victoria and Paula, at the Belleville Farmers’ Market in the pretty town square. I remember coming home with a tray of their lasagna and emu steaks from Naylor Farm. That was perhaps four years ago. So it’s a pleasure to see their business expand.

I ate the Tuscan bean ravioli topped with bacon, caramelized onion and sour cream one night, the ravioli boiled for three minutes, then pan fried, pierogi style. The next night, with a simple tomato sauce. Good stuff.

My 500 gm bag was found at Seed to Sausage. Check the website for other Ottawa spots to find this lovely Belleville product.