Are we starting to turn orange yet? It’s Pumpkinpalooza season at Trader Joe’s where almost everything turns orange and tastes like pumpkin spice! New this year is a yummy looking Gluten Free ravioli in the refrigerator section.
Gluten Free pasta has come a long way in the past decade or so. The days of pasta that tasted like rubber bands or fell apart when you cooked it are long over. Now you can find gluten free pasta anywhere and it usually is almost as good as wheat pasta. But that’s just a minor thing when we realize what season we are in. It’s pumpkin season and Trader Joe’s is injecting pumpkin into everything.
What’s in the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Ravioli?
It’s not so much about what is in the ravioli, that’s the easy part, it’s what IS the ravioli made of?
According to the ingredients list (see below) the pasta is made out of potato starch, tapioca starch, and eggs for the most part. Potatoes don’t have any gluten and voila, you have gluten free but nutritious pasta.
Not to be left out of the mix, the insides of the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin ravioli have all the flavor, ricotta, squash, pumpkin, and mozzarella cheese, that make up the majority of the ravioli and the filling. It’s a traditional mix of cheeses, herbs and squash. Pumpkin isn’t even the first squash on the ingredients list, it’s Kobucha squash which has a ton of flavor and a darker color than regular pumpkin. If you have ever baked Pumpkin by itself, it’s pretty flavorless. That’s why you see so much butternut or kabocha squash in ingredient lists because they have a lot of flavors.
The Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Ravioli comes in a clear package that most ravioli from Trader Joe’s comes in these days. It’s in the fridge section and has about a one month shelf life.
The labels are all in orange reflecting the fall motif and the orange color of the ravioli. But there is no squash in the pasta that makes up the ravioli, it’s colored with paprika. But it is a nice bright, natural orange color which is a a nice departure from the boring old white color of regular pasta.
Making ravioli is probably one of the easiest and classiest dinners you will ever make. Fill a large pot with water. Throw a big pinch of salt in the water and when the water is boiling, dump the ravioli in the water and cook for about 3 minutes. If you cook too long, the ravioli will start to fall apart.
Do not let the ravioli stick together after putting them in the water. I you need to separate them all before putting them in the water, do that. I had a couple of them stick together and I tried to separate them and they popped open.
I used a slotted spoon to transfer the ravioli to a non stick skillet with some melted butter and parsley where I quickly tossed them to coast them with butter then transferred to bowl to eat and hit the pumpkin ravioli with some salt and pepper.
This Pumpkin Ravioli would be wonderful with several types of sauces or even just on its own with some butter and herbs. Ravioli is not a complicated meal, usually served with a sauce and a sprinkling of herbs and that’s it. In Italy, it’s not a main course but here in the USA, why not?
I think that the new Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto would work great. Just throw a few tablespoons in a saute pan and then the ravioli and shop up some sage or parsley toss it all together and put it in a serving bowl. I could also see it served with Trader Joe’s Autumnal Creamy Pasta Sauce. Just serve it with some good bread and a salad and you have a meal!
The final Verdict on the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Ravioli
The one thing I get wary about is will something with pumpkin in it be sweet and whether will it taste like a pumpkin spice latte. This is not the case with Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Ravioli. First off, this ravioli looks and acts like regular pasta from a cooking and serving standpoint. If you didn’t tell me it was gluten free, I wouldn’t know. Things have come a long way in the past few years with gluten free pasta. No more weird ingredients.
So, how did it taste? I thought the cheese filling (I didn’t take a shot with the pasta cut open, unfortunately) was a very traditional mix and was excellent. Just the right mix of cheeses and herbs. It all seemed very fresh.
But you aren’t here to hear about that. You want to know if the pasta was weird. I have to admit that the pasta for the ravioli was slightly gummy compared to wheat based pasta. But I was doing a critical review (because that’s what I do!) and I think 90% of people probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Honestly, I thought this was one of the best gluten free pasta dishes I’ve ever had. The flavors were spot on and the ravioli pasta was very similar to wheat pasta. Ravioli is also more about sauces than the actual pasta and filling. A spicy Arrabbiata sauce would wipe out any flavors in the ravioli. If you want the pumpkin flavors to shine, keep it simple with some butter and sage.
Having said all that, I think the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Ravioli stands up to regular pasta on it’s own and I could easily see myself serving this to friends and family.
I am going to rate it 8 bells out of 10
FILLING (RICOTTA CHEESE [MILK, DISTILLED VINEGAR, SALT], KABOCHA SQUASH, PUMPKIN PUREE, PARMESAN CHEESE [PASTEURIZED PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME], LOW-MOISTURE MOZZARELLA CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME], POTATO FLAKES, DRIED PUMPKIN [PUMPKIN, MALTODEXTRIN, CORN FLOUR], HONEY, BROWN SUGAR, VEGETABLE FIBERS (BAMBOO AND PSYLLIUM FIBER), SEA SALT, CANOLA OIL, PARSLEY, BLACK PEPPER, ALLSPICE, CINNAMON, CLOVE, NUTMEG), PASTA (POTATO STARCH, WATER, TAPIOCA STARCH, DRIED EGG, XANTHAN GUM, SEA SALT, PAPRIKA OLEORESIN [COLOR]).
- CONTAINS MILK, EGG.