Published on January 30th, 2014


Travel Tips: Nomad Tomato Ravioli

(Note: just a little “filler” post here to keep you all happily reading – whilst I whiz off to Vietnam manana, then onward to the U.S. of A. and finally, in mid February come in for a final landing in Ecuador. Knowing that I’ll likely be a tad busy and/or not have easy access to a keyboard – I’ve managed to peck a bundle of posts that I can swiftly publish over the next month’s Asia exodus interim. This silly ravioli is the first…)

My Nomad Boiled Eggs tip proved to be so popular with TL readers (not to mention, I continue to boil up a few eggs most every week here in Thailand), I couldn’t help but wonder what other sorely-missed Western comfort food I might cook up in my handy-dandy $6 plastic tea kettle.


This year, for my (goodness!) THIRD Christmas as an expat, far, far away from my native U.S. of A. land, I enjoyed a most delish traditional Christmas dinner at a British pub here in Chiang mai with a fine bunch of Couchsurfers (well o.k. ’twas a bit on the Brit side in that it included “Christmas Pudding” rather than good ol’ A.mer.i.can pumpkin pie, but still…).

Nonetheless, for the (far more personally sentimental) Christmas Eve, I had a yen to cobble together my own private Christmas feast in my little apartment.  And though the traditional Christmas Eve menus of my childhood ever included all manner of seafood (as my family was Catholic and years ago, such was a church rule on the night before the nativity), alas my rudimentary nomad kitchen (but a small fridge, a knife, a spoon, a fork, a plastic reusable Ramen bowl, and an electric tea kettle) rather precluded any dream of brewing up a batch of oyster stew and deep-fried breaded shrimp for Christmas Eve dinner.  Nonetheless, I was nothing, if not determined.

In short: what ELSE might I concoct with but my humble plastic tea kettle?

And the answer?  Whilst wandering the aisles of the local “Tops” grocery store here in Chiang Mai (you know, the same shop that initially inspired me to nearly faint with its 7-KINDS-OF-LETTUCE! salad bar), I spied… why a package of FRESH SPINACH RAVIOLI stuffed with CHEESE!

Hmmm… mumbled I – now why couldn’t I boil those little pasta ravioli puppies up in my tea kettle, and drizzle them with some tomato sauce?

Done.  And done.

Easy-peasy.  Just a matter of plopping a dozen or so into a 3/4 full kettle of water, bring to rolling boil, let set for 5-10 minutes, drain, and smother them with (room temperature) spaghetti sauce – the boiled ravioli will further heat the sauce to a perfect eating temp.


The inspiration. Why not, says I?


A dozen petite spinach ravioli ready to boil.


Fresh pasta only takes about 5 minutes to the perfect “al dente”.


Voila! A fine, homemade Christmas (or any time) nomad dinner!


Now then – what other yummy comfort foods might I try next in my humble tea kettle?

Go on – give me a nomadic kitchen challenge – I dare you!

For more of my “Nomad Cuisine” experiments with but a simple electric tea kettle:

Travel tips: Nomad Mashed Taters
Travel Tips: Nomad Tomato Ravioli
Travel Tips: Nomad Boiled Eggs

About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

10 Responses to Travel Tips: Nomad Tomato Ravioli

  1. Now I’m hungry for Italian. Thank you.

    Sometimes I like heated sauce. Much of how I heat it was designed to reduce the chance of the concentrated heat of the pot’s coils breaking the jar. I have a small glass jar that fits in my hot pot with about a finger width’s room to spare on all sides. Everything starts at room temperature. I use a little less water than enough to float the jar, then cycle the hot pot on and off every minute or so. After heated, put the lid on, wipe it off, wrap it up in some makeshift insulation while the pasta boils.

    So TNL, have you tried using a kitchen sieve to turn your electric tea kettle into a veggie steamer?
    Four Letter Nerde kindly contributed to world literature by posting…For the Want of a Credit Card, a Trip Was Lost.My Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Great idea FLN, streaming veggies would work splendidly – I just have to find a small enough strainer to fit inside my tea kettle.

      Actually though… as I peck this – the TravelnLass is… without a tea kettle!

      I just packed up everything in Chiang Mai: 1 checked suitcase (25kg) plus a carry-on rolling backpack (7kg) and a small pack for my laptop = all my worldly possession <90 pounds! But alas, no room for a bulky $6 tea kettle, so had to leave it behind. But no doubt will easily pick up another when I land in Ecuador.

  2. Ted says:

    As Kathy says, “done quite well with that tea kettle”. First boiled eggs, now ravioli. Suppose a turkey is next 🙂 In the meantime, as I type, I’m just tucking into a smoked ham and cheese sandwich at a hostel in Pamplona, thinking how outclassed I am at eating on the road – will catch up tho, don’t worry.

    Have great time in States and hope your journey to Ecuador is a happy one.
    Ted kindly contributed to world literature by posting…En-route floods in FranceMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yep Ted, dunno about roast turkey, but I do have yet another fine Nomad tea kettle dish waiting in the wings, so stay tuned…

  3. You’ve done quite well with that tea kettle. Everything looks pretty delicious. I have to admit that, although raised Catholic, I never knew about the night before nativity seafood rule. Maybe it’s because my parents were never fans of seafood themselves. Hope it wasn’t something I was supposed to confess. 🙂
    Cathy Sweeney kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Best of Budapest: Spa in the CityMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Interesting Cathy (about the Catholic rules) Yes, maybe your folks didn’t fancy seafood, or perhaps… it wasn’t a hard ‘n fast rule at all, and my folks just wanted an excuse to eat shrimp and oysters! 😉

  4. Staecy says:

    Omg! I’m so trying this! Great tip!
    Staecy kindly contributed to world literature by posting…The White Temple in Chiang RaiMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yep Stacey, and furthermore… this morning when I drop off the pillow you left me for my final night here in Chiang Mai (thanks!) I leave you my beloved little $6 plastic tea kettle so you can try making your own tomato ravioli before you leave for Beijing next month.

  5. Jan Ross says:

    Amazing! We never use that little coffeepot that is always in our hotel room….hmmm…
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