Grilling Pasta

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The Cooking Cardiologist Dr. Richard Collins shows us how to make grilled pasta pops.

Can’t get your children to eat vegetables? Need a quick grilled appetizer? Then try pasta on the grill! Actually, it works well. The grill will finalize the toasting of the ravioli, but the technique will be totally different from conventional grilling. I call it steam grilling by placing an olive oil brushed ingredient onto a medium heated grill while spraying intermittently with water to keep the food item moist.The American styled grill is very drying and the heat adjustment needs to be perfect. For a gas grill, medium heat is best. If the item begins to flame, it is too hot. You should be able to hold an open hand above the grill for a count of 4 to 5 seconds before lifting away due to the heat intensity. The grill surface temperature will be about 3500F. For charcoal, use indirect heat. The white-hot coals should be to the opposite side. This process requires attentive grilling as pasta is delicate…toast don’t blacken.

Create a variety of dipping sauces from a traditional prepared marinara sauce to a walnut pesto sauce that is included in this recipe. Have fun with your food. This is a great way to have your kids eat spinach filled ravioli, cheese ravioli of course will be their favorite, but even asparagus filled ravioli is available in Denver. See below reference. Gluten free, no problem. See recipe. I call these Pastasicles, but others prefer Pasta Pops.

Let your grill light up the faces on your kids!

For the Ravioli:

Select ravioli of choice. For frozen ravioli, the best place is in Littleton, Co. It is called Rav. They have asparagus ravioli, spinach ravioli, mushroom ravioli and meat blends. Can’t get to Littleton, then go to the frozen section of most grocery stores. Ravioli abounds including gluten free known as Conte’s Pasta, Spinach& Cheese Ravioli is my favorite.

3T olive oil for brushing the ravioli

Popsicles sticks

Pasta sauce of choice. Remember marinara sauce is usually lower in fat. The   most important nutritional information is the amount of salt in the sauce. Chose a lower salt content and buy organic. Also have a second dipping sauce available such as the heart healthy pesto sauce. See below:

For the Dipping Sauces:

Pasta Sauce

Select a pasta tomato sauce low in salt, <250-mg. Avoid high fat content and too much sugar. If possible, purchase organic brands.

Walnut Pesto Sauce

1½ cups fresh basil

¼ cup olive oil

1/3 cup toasted walnuts

¼ cup walnut oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients into a blender or chopper. Blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

To prepare the recipe, brush the frozen ravioli with the olive oil. Toast the pasta frozen on a medium heated clean grill surface. Be attentive. Keep the pasta moist with a sprayer or mister. Do not burn. Remove from heat when toasty. Place a Popsicle stick into each ravioli. Serve with the dipping sauces.

Nutritional information not available depending upon the ravioli. Check nutritional information on the ingredient list for each product.

Serving size: 4 ravioli’s with 3T sauce.