Simple pleasures and fresh produce rule in the summer, so it’s always nice to find a dish that doesn’t seem like it’s trying too hard. The summer ricotta ravioli at Floataway Cafe is an excellent example of a dish that hits the high notes of the season without breaking a sweat.
While it’s a vegetarian dish, the first thing you’ll notice is there’s an almost meaty, grilled aroma emanating from the plate, thanks to a broth made from fire-roasted corn. The ravioli contain melting ricotta shot through with a pinch of lemon zest. This makes them light and sunny, and balances the roasted corn flavor.
Floataway’s handmade ravioli are not quite the traditional shape you might expect. Instead of all four sides being sealed together, each raviolo is made of one piece of pasta folded over and sealed on just three sides. This gives each piece a better filling-to-pasta ratio — a small detail that nonetheless adds a good bit of enjoyment to the dish.
Blanketing the pasta is colorful summer produce: fresh corn and lightly roasted heirloom tomatoes. The corn is sweet and crunchy, almost like candy, while the tomatoes add a bit of tartness. The small tomatoes are roasted enough to be warm and melt-in-your-mouth tender, but not at all charred or blistered. They’re cooked perfectly, so that their natural flavor is enhanced, but not really transformed.
A sharp, salty note comes from pistachio pesto dotted around the plate. Used with restraint, the pesto focuses the delicate summer flavors without overwhelming them. Tiny basil leaves on each pesto dot add a bit of whimsy and freshness to a pasta dish that otherwise is very straightforward.
Floataway Cafe’s ricotta ravioli dish is a textbook example of satisfying cooking that embraces the season. It’s like a tasty snapshot of the moment. If you know someone who’s not a fan of the season, take them to Floataway for a plate of ravioli; they might decide summer’s worth celebrating after all.
Floataway Cafe. 1123 Zonolite Road NE, Atlanta. 404-892-1414, starprovisions.com/floataway-cafe.
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