After a failed attempt at a post-marathon run this weekend in which all of my old injuries plus some potential new ones decided to rear their ugly heads, I did what any normal person would do.  And tried to drown my sorrows in peanut butter.

But really, as delicious as peanut butter is, it doesn’t really solve any problems.  Sure, it tastes great for the first few spoonfuls, but then it starts to feel like a bad one night stand.  So then you, again, do what any normal person would do and attempt to throw it out of your room or out your window or whatever you do with those guys who you really just don’t want to wake up to the next morning (no judgment).

(Not that I would know anything about this. Right now, the only one night stands I’m having are with my medical boards review book.  And that’s more like a six week stand than a one night stand.  However, it will probably culminate in me throwing something out of my window.  Or in me hopping on a plane to San Francisco to restart my life as a fugitive/pastry chef.  So really…maybe they are pretty similar.)

(And no.  I’m not joking about that last part.)


So then it’s about 6pm and you feel like you really need to redeem yourself after all the sleaze and Skippy Natural you’ve just endured.  This is when the skies open up and Heidi Swanson’s new (gorgeous amazing must-buy) cookbook opens up in front of you.  And though you want to make everything all at once, I think we can all agree that it’s a ravioli kind of day.

Oh yes.  Bad run, bad sex, whatever it is that ails you.  Stuffed pasta is totally the cure.

So ravioli salad it is.


You mix up that cilantro pesto, tear up those olives into little itty bitty pieces.  Mix everything together.

And upon taking your first bite, realize that someday there will be a good run.  Someday there will be a good guy.  Someday you won’t have to remember which bacteria produce urease and which don’t.

And right now.  There is a delicious ravioli salad.

It’s enough to make life feel pretty damn good.  For one meal, anyway.

Picnik collage

At this week’s Eat.Live.Be. we are talking about what we can’t live without in this healthy living journey.  I have a few things.  One.  You guys.  No, seriously.  You all keep me motivated to keep cooking good food and writing.  You make me happy.  You give me something to look forward to in every seemingly unending day of studying.  Love ya.  Two. Pasta. For very similar reasons.  A life without pasta is like a night without stars.  Or something like that.  And I know it gets a bad rep, but prepared the right way, it really can be good for you! Three.  My cookbooks.  I find nothing more relaxing than paging through a beautiful cookbook and finding inspiration within its pages.  I flip through one every night before bed.  So soothing.

So tell me, what do you guys need to have in order to keep you going?  And feel free to check out the other Eat.Live.Be. bloggers’ must-haves!

And also…because I’m curious and because this fabulous website, SkinnyScoop, piqued my curiosity with a similar poll they have on their site…

I’ll tell you my number if you tell me yours…

Ravioli Salad with Black Olives and Pepitas
Serves 4, adapted from Super Natural Every Day

1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
reserved pasta water
fine-grain sea salt
1 lb fresh or frozen ravioli (I used two boxes of butternut squash ravioli from Trader Joe’s!)
1 bunch asparagus, ends cut off and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped or torn

1.  Bring  large pot of generously salted water to a boil.  In the meantime, begin to prepare the pesto.  Combine most of the pepitas, cilantro, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and 2 tbsp of the olive oil and blend either in a food processor, with an immersion blender, or with a blender, until smooth.  At this point, you can either drizzle in another 1/2 cup olive oil (as Heidi suggests!) or do what I did, which is wait until your pasta is done and then add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pesto to loosen it.  Taste and add salt and more lemon juice, if needed.

2. When the water boils, add the ravioli and boil until they float or are cooked through.  About 1 minute before the ravioli are done, add in the asparagus.  Drain immediately (reserving 1/2 cup water!).  While the ravioli are still super hot, toss with a big spoonful of pesto and leave it for a few minutes just to let it soak in a bit.  Then, mix in the rest of the pesto, the olives, and the remaining pepitas.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

I am submitting this to:
Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Theresa of Food Hunter’s Guide.
Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory
Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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105 Responses to Ravioli Salad with Black Olives and Pepitas

  1. Simply Life says:

    YUM! What a great way to enjoy raviolis’!

  2. What a great recipe… asparagus are my crack right now. They’re just so wonderful. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

    (feel better, my friend. take it easy and make sure you heal properly :-/)

  3. sofia says:

    funny how bad runs and bad dates really do drive you to the (peanut butter) jar. i always felt like running was an evil ex-boyfriend/ guy you dated but never should have that is always tempting to go back to even though you know it hurts. i’ve stayed away from running and bad guys for about a year now, so i wonder if the two go hand in hand? anyway, enough of my rambling. this pasta looks fabulous. love the TJ’s rav action.

  4. Corina says:

    This looks amazing yet again! I could turn vegetarian looking at some of your dishes recently.

  5. How about pasta STUFFED with peanut butter! Congrats on the marathon run BTW! This pasta looks so delicious…I could eat it all day long!

  6. OohLookBel says:

    Are you serious about that fugitive/pastry chef thing? Hope they make a movie about it (with someone cute and clever starring as you). Love the ravioli, though I’d replace the cilantro with basil =P

  7. I am in love with all things olives and I can’t wait to try this out, My favorite thing in the world to cook with is this cajun olive salad because it brings so much flavor into the dish from the marinated olives! This looks absolutely delish! Hope you had a great Easter! Sorry I was MIA last week! 🙂

  8. I have never tried drowning my sorrows in peanut butter, not yet anyway. I have tried alcohol, it works, probably because its easier to drown in a liquid:).

    Last night I was thinking that I own 0 cookbooks and then I saw the poll today. No wonder your meals are so inspired, and mine uninspired. Its those cookbooks)

  9. Shannon says:

    I turn to peanut butter when all seems hopeless too. Let’s see how long the Costco-size jar I just picked up lasts me…

    This looks so light and delicious! I love love LOVE asparagus!

  10. janet says:

    Hey Joanne, I really love waking up Monday morning to a healthy food inspired post. 🙂 Now about cookbooks, I have TONS. More cookbooks than medical textbooks, by a ratio of 10:1 I would say. 🙂 I will not consider this a problem when I move, but Rob might.. 😉

  11. Joanne says:

    This looks like a nice salad on a warm Spring day, which it looks like we’ll be having a few of this week. Sure wish you could send a helping of this my way!

  12. Little Inbox says:

    The asparagus is big fat juicy. I can hardly find such quality asparagus here.

  13. Danielle says:

    Another great recipe. I wanted to tell you I made the Lentil Piccadillo and we loved it! I’ll probably post it this Friday in My “Your Recipe My Kitchen” post.


  14. What?! I thought peanut butter could cure anything? This is a gorgeous meal!

  15. This looks so lovely! I just love asparagus. 🙂 Cookbooks and blogs are what I go to for relaxation (and running too actually!). I could “get lost” in a cookbook just as easily as I could in a great novel. Thanks for all your delicious posts, Joanne. They’re always awesome!

  16. crustabakes says:

    I am glad you decided to toss that peanut butter and made this! this is definitely the kind of food that will make things right again. LOL. my weakness are for any form of desserts, and books too! we cant be forgetting the cookbooks!

  17. Victoria says:

    This is way better than peanut butter (no offense, peanut butter…)! I’m glad you had divine intervention (from your cookbook) and made this for dinner. It really looks super fabulous! I agree that stuffed pasta makes the world a better place, and I love the idea of making a “salad” with them. I’ve never done that. Hope you heal up soon.

  18. I’m right there with you on the stuffed pasta… I’m making tortellini soup for dinner tonight. I may or may not be avoiding studying to do so. At least I have my priorities straight.

  19. Faith says:

    I won’t get into it, but I know all about trying to drown my sorrows in peanut butter, lol! The salad looks fantastic, I love the nutty crunch from the pepitas and the salty bite from the olives.

  20. Tasha says:

    I am loving this wonderful combination of bright flavors. No doubt a yummy pasta like this could make you feel better!

  21. Amy says:

    Wow. If peanut butter can’t make you feel better, nothing will. Ah, asparagus though. And pasta. Mmmm.
    As for the cookbooks? I’ve lost count. That’s how many I have. And p.s. – I want that bowl!

  22. Mary says:

    That’s a fine looking salad! The flavors are bright and just perfect for spring. I have a couple of comfort foods, though around here we call them nursery food. I can’t discuss the unhealthy ones here, but I’ll admit to a love of cinnamon toast and good rye bread with butter. I hopeyou have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  23. Mo Diva says:

    this is a gorgeous dish! I love asparagus but dare i say (tmi) it makes my urine smell awful. So i refrain from it. 🙁

  24. What’s really getting me is that bunch of asparagus. I adore asparagus–in fact, I’m making an asparagus soup tomorrow night that I hope will be killer-delicious.

  25. What a wonderful dish. It looks absolutely healthy and hearty. Too many cookbooks!

  26. What a beautiful dish! We have all been there with the peanut butter (or in my case cookies or ice cream or anything loaded with sugar)! I hope your injuries give you a break.

  27. Kim says:

    Running away to SF as a fugitive/pastry chef sounds like my cup of tea right now. I’m in! I really want to check out Heidi’s book. There are so many of her recipes floating around right now. This ravioli salad is my favorite yet! Looks gorgeous!

  28. Its 8:30 in the morning and m drooling at this plateful of ravioli salad.What lovely fresh flavors.You knw, what you said about peanut butter,I feel the same about nutella too after 4- 5 spoonfuls.I wish you good health and fast recovery.Have a nice week ahead!

  29. That ravioli would definitely cure anything that ails you! Looks fantastic! And I own way too many cookbooks, way over 200.

  30. Nicole says:

    Amazing recipe! Similar to a cilantro dressing i found that tastes just like El Toritto from CA, or the one that Trader Joe’s sells – but of course Colorado doesn’t have a TJ’s… sigh.
    anyway – looks super yummy and i love your dishes too!

  31. Lora says:

    Gorgeous pasta! I just ate dinner and those pix are making me hungry again. Peanut butter is grand but I usually reach for the jars of nutella or speculoos cream (crunchy!)

  32. This looks so gorgeous and delicious
    the pics are beautiful too
    Happy Easter Joanne

  33. That Girl says:

    I’m fairly certain there are some problems peanut butter can solve. Like what should I put on the other side of this jelly sandwich?

  34. Allison says:

    Sorry that the post run caused some body pain. This looks delicious and PB to me is like the goldfish cracker is to my daughter … it cures a lot of the wrongs in our world. If you decide to skip town and become a pastry chef in SF keep me posted I miss SF and I will come and eat your wonderful pastries. A girl can dream.

  35. This is bookmarked! My fav ingredients in one bowl!

  36. Hannah says:

    What a nice and spring-y combination of herbs and veggies! I think I may just have to try this is plain old pasta- I bet it will still be awesome.

  37. Ada says:

    Aww I’m sorry about your injuries, they must be so painful:( Peanut butter can practically solve any problem, though.

    What a lovely spring-themed recipe! Ravioli is such an underrated food.

    If you decide to run off to San Francisco and become a pastry chef please let me know, I’d love to join you:)

    Good luck with all of your studying!!!
    P.S- if you get a chance would you mind emailing your mailing address to [email protected] so that I can get the coconut water to you? Thanks:)

  38. Megan says:

    I love the idea of this ravioli salad. I feel like there are so many asparagus dishes I want to make these days.

  39. aipi says:

    I can finish the whole bowl in one go- totally loving the idea of ravioli salad n the recipe i sooooo bookmarked!
    US Masala

  40. oh goodness. this is like all of my favorite things right now, all in one dish! I want 🙂

    And I definitely have WAY too many cookbooks. I just love finding beautiful books to keep on my shelves, and I’m a sucker for a good cookbook.

  41. Stephanie says:

    If peanut butter can’t cure depression, pasta sure can! Love this salad, it soundd delicious!

  42. Looks like a fabulous and filling salad. Yay to you and Heidi!

  43. Dawn says:

    Aww we love you too. Isn’t the fresh asparagus so fabulous now?! This looks right up my alley.

  44. Cate says:

    Stubborn running injuries are SO FRUSTRATING! I hope it all feels better soon. I can’t wait to try this meal…I’m completely obsessed with her new book too!

  45. What a beautiful spring dish! This looks incredible!

  46. bellini says:

    I love ravioli or even tortellini salad…..stuffed with cheese…even better!

  47. Sorry about your run, but you are right stuffed pasta makes all things better. Wonderful dish and I adore Pepitas, delicious!

  48. You’ve outdone yourself again Joanne! Between this and that banana split sandwich I’m drooling!!


  49. Lori says:

    Looks so good! Scrumptious!

  50. If I want to get to bed tonight I won’t be able to start counting 🙂

    I love the looks of that salad! What a great way to lick your wounds.

  51. teresa says:

    girlfriend, you had me at cilantro pesto! this looks amazing.

    i hope you’re feeling better soon!

  52. Swathi says:

    This Ravoli salad awesome, love everything there creamy sauce makes me hungry.

  53. Claire says:

    I’m not a big pasta girl, but this does look pretty good…that asparagus added a lot! Amazingly, I own 31 cookbooks. HOWEVER, about 7 of those were purchased strictly for decoration at my old apartment. How often do I USE those cookbooks…almost never! HA! Maybe if I had someone other than myself to cook for. 🙂

  54. Veronica says:

    I love Heidi’s recipes!! Have you tried her carrot, dill, and white bean salad? Love that! It’s almost addictive to me. I also love her garam masala tofu scramble (I replace the onions & fennel with leeks) and her caramelized tofu. This salad looks wonderful and really seems like it WOULD help you through the pits.

  55. Julie says:

    so my sister is like totally obsessed with these spinach ravioli-olis and they’re frozen but she loves them. but these look EXACTLY like them but like amazingly delicious hahaha

  56. Gorgeous dish. And you KNOW you can’t leave NYC 🙂

  57. Pam says:

    I just happen to have those raviolis in my freezer right now. I love, love, love this recipe!

  58. Natalie says:

    ravioli salad is kind of like panzanella salads…can’t ever go wrong with carbs in salad!! 🙂

  59. tinytearoom says:

    My love for asparagus is growing everytime I cook with them. I never use to love them, only like. But then I come across recipes like this that show their beauty and I love them oh so much more.

  60. daphne says:

    It’s proof that good food with veges as a main theme can be very special as well. Love the asparagus-added crunch!

  61. I drove out to my favorite farm yesterday–in the rain–and came home with a handful of purple asparagus. I said I’d never seen purple and the farmer said he hadn’t either. He thought it was all the rain. We’ll see! Delicious salad!

    Someday I’ll tell you the story of being responsible for getting my niece to the spot for taking her medical boards!!


  62. Nicole, RD says:

    31+!? Wow! Most people have a lot of cookbooks! I have somewhere in that 11-20 range, I think. But there’s THOUSANDS in my email. 🙂

    This ravioli salad looks amazing!! And the comparison of peanut butter to a one night stand just about made my iced coffee ooze from my nose. THANKS 🙂

    P.S. Some of my old students know about my blog, and one of them found a link back to yours. He’s a culinary major. He told me he made one of your recipes 🙂 Thought you’d like to know that 🙂

  63. Barbara says:

    I’ve never counted the cookbooks…they are everywhere. Not just in the kitchen But I KNOW there are more than 31!
    And yes, when you’re down in the dumps, pasta is the only answer.

  64. Patsyk says:

    I also can’t live without pasta… didn’t even think of that though when I was writing my post! I think it gets a bad rap as well, and I’m not convinced low-carb (or no carb) is a healthy way to go… the all or nothing approach never solves anything in the long run.

    Your post really made me smile… and, I totally agree that a well-made pasta can make all the craziness feel a bit less crazy. Have a great day!

  65. marla says:

    Hopefully those aches & pains will leave soon. I do think you have found a new cure though. Must get ahold of Heidi’s new book – I have heard nothing but amazing things!! This ravioli salad looks wonderful. xxoo

  66. jenna laughs says:

    Ahhh – love bringing blogging back in to my life by coming to your site and seeing something like this. So fresh and Springy! I remember your pumpkin ravioli recipe from this fall and dream about it at night.

  67. Peggy says:

    I could eat raviolis any time. And I just bought a bag of pepitas that I can’t stop digging into. So this salad is screaming my name.

    And I feel bad admitting this (because I think it should be a higher number than it actually is) but I only have 12 cookbooks. But they’re stellar winners in their own right!

  68. Nadji says:

    Désolée que tu n’aies pas pu faire ton poste marathon. Dommage. Ce sera pour une autre fois.
    Un plat délicieux.
    Bonne semaine et à très bientôt.

  69. Oh I’m a forever Heidi fan after picking her first cookbook up on a whim years ago. I need to get the new one!

  70. Claudie says:

    Your posts always make me laugh 🙂
    Sorry to hear about your bad run! I am myself getting pissed off at my I.T. band which refuses to stop bothering me, and it’s been months!! I don’t even want to imagine how it must be for you, especially after the Boston marathon.
    In any case, if you decide to become a pastry chef in SF, be sure you already got your first client 🙂
    And regarding the salad — I love the contrast of colors those ingredients bring!

    PS: do e-books count for your poll? cuz in that case I have hundreds… 😀

  71. wow, those raviolis look superb and the salad looks even better 🙂

  72. Big Dude says:

    I’d never considered ravioli in pasta salad – what a great idea and it looks fantastic.

  73. Shannon says:

    hmmm… funny i just got my spoon out of the pb jar 🙁 this pasta would certainly turn my day around!! fabulous!

  74. How ARE you?! So sorry about the old and new injuries. This ravioli salad looks incredible. The olives must add such a nice bite and saltiness to the dish. I haven’t tried the Joe’s butternut squash raviolis so thank you for basically reviewing it because if Joanne likes it, it must be good.

  75. Candace says:

    I wish I had this for tonight’s dinner. It looks fabulous. I love peanut butter straight from the jar with a small handful of dark chocolate chips. Guilty as charged. 🙂

  76. Amazing recipe! Stuffed pasta is a sure cure for all ills!

    Camila F.

  77. It’s like this recipe was made for me… :’)

  78. Juliana says:

    I will have to try this from TJ…looks yummie with the asparagus, olives and pepitas…lots of different textures…I usually drown my sorrows with chocolate 🙂 Hope you are having a better week Joanne 😉

  79. a fantastic spring dish! i saw some really nice looking asparagus in the supermarket. time to buy!

  80. Reeni says:

    A heartwarming plate of food can make all seem right with the world! If only temporarily. I love the unique combination of ingredients in here – completely delicious and comforting!

  81. Carolyn Jung says:

    I always look forward to spring just for asparagus. Can’t get enough of the stuff. Thanks for giving me a new way to enjoy them. Ravioli salad — here I come! 😉

  82. sophia says:

    I think I owe slightly over 10 cookbooks. So….what about you? 😉

    p.s. What are you doing this summer?

  83. sweetlife says:

    I hate when people say you cannot eat pasta “healthy” this so proves my point, this is the pasta dishes I crave, and it doesn’t hurt that two of my fav (cilantro and pepitas) are it!! oh goodness I own 31+ cookbooks striclty devoted to mexican cooking..but then I have texas, italian, veggie and throw in chul’s baking books..there is alot!! I love them all!

  84. Dana says:

    Glad to see you made this. I was eying in my new book and thinking this could either be really good or really gross. Glad it is the former. Heidi is going to be in Seattle on Saturday and I’m hoping to meet her!

  85. Katerina says:

    Beautiful pasta dish Joanne! All the flavors are divine!

  86. Brandee says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve unfortunately lost my taste for cilantro, so I replaced it with a couple of medium tomatoes and cooked the whole mixture for a few minutes. Super easy and it had a really great and unusual taste!

    Here is my version:

  87. Mary Squires says:

    I love all the ingredients in this dish – so much better than peanut butter.

  88. Johanna GGG says:

    love pasta too and always love the way you prepare it – looks so fresh and healthy as well as delicious and colourful – I can’t live without colourful food! variety please!

  89. I have noted your quotation “a life without pasta is like a night without stars” in my recipe notebook 🙂
    and I really liked the idea of using ravioli in a salad!

  90. I just bought Heidi’s book and I am enjoying it.
    I have made 2 recipes so far, and this one is on my list.
    I never thought of stuffed pasta to remedy bad sex, and hopefully, I won’t have to worry about that!

  91. Deborah says:

    Yes, pasta is pretty much the cure to anything and everything!!

  92. Kerstin says:

    I’m so happy asparagus is in season – it just makes everything better! Such a lovely pasta.

  93. I had to get he new book the other day and I am loving looking through it. 😉 I am going to have to tag this one to make for sure.

    I stopped counting my cookbooks–it was way too depressing. 😉

  94. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    These ravioli’s look so delicious and fresh. This is a perfect Spring meal 🙂

  95. How do you do it? Seriously. I’ve been MIA from Blogosphere because of work. Yet here you are… a med student and wildly popular blogger. I’ve missed out on so many posts! LOVE this recipe.
    Don’t ask about my cookbooks. My husband would weep at the “investment” I’ve made.

  96. Oh no…you’ve joined in the barrage of bloggers making amazing recipes from that book and making it harder and harder to resist buying it ;p. Looks fantastic, girl!

  97. Ruth Daniels says:

    I’d much rather munch on pasta than on spoonfuls of peanut butter any day. Yours looks amazing. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night. As for cookbooks ….. somewhere around 200… that’s definitely 31+!

  98. Chaya says:

    You come up with the most delightful combinations and this is one of them. It is being featured at My Meatless Mondays. It is certainly worthy of this.

    I think, I should come for dinner on Sundays.

  99. Chris says:

    The lemon and asparagus make this something I’d like. The ravioli would be great energy food too.

    I try to avoid one night stands….Alexis tends to frown upon that kind of activity;)

  100. Elizabeth says:

    Okay. I have to stop reading this now. And come back in asparagus season to remind myself of how you put this together. It looks fabulous. I want to have it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. And maybe as a snack as well. If there’s any left.

  101. Elizabeth says:

    Oops… forgot to divulge the answer to the poll. I actually don’t know the answer but I’m pretty sure it’s +31, so that’s what I put down.

  102. Betsy says:

    This looks really amazing! I’m going to try this recipe for sure! We’re hosting an online seasonal potluck and May is asparagus month. If you’d like to link your recipe, we’d love to have you!

  103. This sounds like such a wonderful pasta dish. I don’t add olives to things nearly enough.

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