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When this ravioli is heating in the pan, the kitchen fills with the most mouthwatering, tangy tomatoey smell.
The taste is no disappointment either. Seasoned with just herbs, salt & pepper, nothing artificial, the thick sauce is rich & full of flavour. The pasta parcels & their filling have a bit of bite to them & are really tasty & savoury.
Although the ravioli has the occasional faintly gritty texture that I always associate with the tinned meat ravioli I had as a child, it must be due to the semolina in the pasta, as this meal is 100% vegan.
It's a bit pricey - £5.25 on the first healthfood mail-order website I looked at - but it's organic & at 670g will serve two people easily or it keeps in its screw-top jar in the fridge & feeds one hungry me over two or three days .
My ultimate comfort food is Danival ravioli with mashed potato & lots of butter, or to make it a bit more filling I mix it half-&-half with Suma tinned lentils in tomato sauce.
It has a very long shelf-life, & a jar in the cupboard is a perfect standby for a quickly-heated light meal or the basis for a more substantial, lovely healthy meal.
For as long as I can remember we have been enjoying the benefits of a meal that you can make in a moment, but with the addition of a freshly made salad becomes something really special-even for a dinner party or a romantic candlelit setting.
"Hard to believe", I can already hear you thinking, and so I will tell you a little bit about the origins of Danival Tofu Ravioli.
First of all I can tell you it is French, made in the heart of the French countryside by a team of 49 employees who together produce over 200 organic products. This is the first benefit to my way of eating, as being organic it means that none of the ingredients have seen a chemical pesticide in their life.
There have been some important landmarks in the company's history. In 1991 they won a special award given by the French Environmental Agency for their global environmental strategy, and in 1994 they made sure that all non-gm soya beans they use in their products could be traced back to the producers.
Buying these is easy, they are available from goodnessdirect.co.uk and for a giant glass jar you will pay £4.80. This easily serves two and the helpings are very generous. You will also find it in many health food stores, and if you can't find it ask them to order it for you. This is possible in any who are independent, as they have a weekly order with a wholesaler at their discretion, but not possible in larger chains like Holland and Barrett as they have set deliveries and are unable to order things specially.
Contained within these lovely pasta parcels which are made from whole-wheat semolina, are tofu, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme roasted sesame, salt, pepper, and the sauce is made from tomatoes, onions, sunflower oil, unrefined Atlantic sea salt, and green peppers.
Tofu, I know to some is almost a death sentence, as it sits in chiller cabinets like squares of wobbly tasteless lardy looking nothingness, but this is not remotely like that at all. It actually tastes meaty and savoury, and you would struggle to say it was tofu if you were in the dark as to the ingredient list. Tofu is an excellent protein source and is rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and B, and it has no cholesterol. Being vegan it is perfect for anyone following that way of life.
Being a screw top jar all you do is to unscrew and pour into a pan where it will need to be gently heated. You have to be careful here as you don't want to burn it, and yet you want to heat the sauce through properly in the middle so you need a bit of patience as well as a lot of stirring.
Piled onto a plate I usually serve with a tossed green salad, and lashings of freshly grated parmesan.
The ravioli is absolutely delicious. It is bursting with Mediterranean flavours, the thyme and the basil dominate, and the sauce is flavourful and satisfying. Although a ready made meal everything in it is organic and natural, and it makes a brilliant mid week supper when you get home from work too tired to cook. It is a brilliant and healthy alternative to the chippy!
The parcels look really pretty with crimped edges and it really is a brilliant meal to serve either on a special night, or if you were catering for children I would highly recommend it as a jar used to feed all my four, as long as I added a salad or some mashed potatoes.
This really is a find and the jar is of course completely recyclable, so as well as being healthier as the food is not encased in plastic, this is appetising and good for the environment too.
As the jar has a very long shelf life you can just leave in the cupboard for the day you want something quick and easy.
French and delicious and perfect for the lazy and health conscious!