Dine with Zest with Zaza’s Pastas, by Rita Pray
If you are looking for an elegant yet easy dinner, stock up on some of Zaza’s homemade Ravioli. It’s about as easy as it gets, and with some simple accompaniments, you can have a delicious, amazing meal on the table in about 10 minutes. The first ravioli I tried was the Butternut Squash-Parmigiano Ravioli, which I embellished with a quick and easy creamy pesto sauce. It was rich and creamy and filling. Just recently, I served the Beet Ravioli with Gorgonzola cheese and Caramelized Leek filling. I followed the recommendation of the Zaza folks and served it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Accompanied by fresh greens from the Berry Patch and a glass of red wine, we had a lovely meal, simply made and exquisitely delicious.
Zaza’s Pastas originate in North Liberty, made by a producer who learned to cook from her Italian grandmother. Zaza’s offers a variety of focaccia breads, breadsticks, biscotti, homemade pasta sauces, and about a dozen or more varieties of dried pasta and several types of frozen ravioli. The dried pastas are colorful (beet, semolina, seppia, butternut squash, saffron, herbed) and shapely (fettuccine, lasagna, farfalle.) The ravioli boast filling ingredients from local creameries and vegetable gardens when possible. All of the pastas are flavorful and nicely textured, and make a simple pasta sauce shine. But for the easiest dinner ever, the ravioli wins, hands down. Simply boil a salted pot of water, drop in the frozen ravioli and let them simmer for 3-5 minutes, drain and drizzle with olive oil or sage butter.
I have tried one of Zaza’s dessert offerings, by accident when I was given another member’s order of Pizelle—which are the light and crispy waffle-style Italian cookies. I served them with fresh blackberries, a drizzle of chocolate, and whipped cream, feeling only a little guilty about the unexpected windfall in our distribution. I’m guessing the tiramisu would be fabulous, based on the other Zaza’s treasures I have discovered. Buon Appetito!