Two Wisconsin food companies are collaborating to launch a new retail product category of ready-to-heat gourmet meals made from locally-grown and produced Wisconsin ingredients.

RP’s Pasta Company, Madison, and Renaissance Farm, Spring Green, will unveil seven gourmet dinners on Friday at Sentry Metcalf at Hilldale in Madison. The dinners are available in the frozen section and retail for less than $8. Dinners range from Lemon Basil Pesto Ravioli, to Wisconsin Stuffed Acorn Squash, to Four Cheese Tortellini, to Wisconsin Macaroni & Cheese.

Wisconsin specialty cheeses, locally-grown vegetables and herbs, as well as locally-made fresh, gourmet pasta are featured in different dishes, with local ingredients listed right on the package.

“Our mission is to create and share flavorful, ready-to-eat gourmet dinners produced from foods grown and crafted right here in Wisconsin,” Mark Olson, President of Renaissance Farms, told me today (pictured above). “We know more families want to buy local foods to support their neighboring farms and strengthen their communities. This line of dishes is a great way for folks to savor Wisconsin’s growing season.”

The Wisconsin-based, ready-to-heat frozen dishes include a variety of local ingredients, including:

  • Aged Cheddar cheese crafted at Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point, Wis.
  • Butter Käse cheese crafted at Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, Wis.
  • Bottled milk and cream produced at Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, Wis.
  • Butter made at Grassland Dairy in Greenwood, Wis.
  • Parmesan, Asiago, Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses made at Grande Dairy, based in Brownsville, Wis.
  • Gorgonzola crafted at Wisconsin Farmers Union in Montfort, Wis.
  • Feta cheese made at Carr Valley Cheese, LaValle, Wis.
  • Gourmet fresh pasta crafted at RP’s Pasta in Madison, Wis.
  • Herbs, olive oils and pesto from Renaissance Farm, Spring Green, Wis.
  • Butternut Squash from Sutter Farm, Mt. Horeb, Wis.
  • Carrots, bell peppers and garlic from a variety of Wisconsin farms

The line of local food dishes from Renaissance Farms was developed by Chef Joel Girard, of Madison. Olson plans to collaborate with different chefs, farms and cheesemakers to develop future lines of ready-to-heat dishes. The first four dishes launched this week include:

  • Lemon Basil Pesto Ravioli with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
  • Stuffed Sweet Bell Peppers with Cedar Grove Butter Käse
  • Butternut Squash Ravioli with Montforte Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
  • Wisconsin Stuffed Acorn Squash with Carr Valley Feta
The line of dishes from RP’s Pasta was created by owner Peter Robertson, a master pasta maker. The first three dishes in the RP’s Pasta line include:
  • Macaroni & Cheese made with Hook’s Three-Year Cheddar
  • Four Cheese Tortellini with Basil & Tomato Sauce, paired with Local Buttered Carrots
  • Four Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Garlic Alfredo, paired with Local Buttered Carrots
“As the owners of local food companies, Mark and I work with fresh, wholesome ingredients grown and crafted by Wisconsin farmers and cheesemakers every day,” says Robertson. “This line of ready-to-heat dinners allows us to share our passion for local foods with the people we love best – our customers.”

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