Homemade Sausage Ravioli with Arrabiata Sauce

For Father’s Day we like to cook my husband dinner.  Just like they do for me for Mother’s Day, we come up with a menu and the kids help out with the food prep.  It was such a gorgeous weekend.  We finally got some tennis in.  We managed to get a few volleys back and forth so we felt good about that.  Plus we made a dent in the garden chores.

For my birthday my kids had given me a ravioli form so I wanted to try it out.  I need to practice with it but I did make homemade sausage ravioli and as my husband loves spicy sauces I did an easy arrabiata sauce.  This meal did take a few hours so it is definitely a weekend deal.

I started with the ravioli stuffing as it had to cool before mixing it with cheese and stuffing the pasta.  Finely chop half a cup of onion and 4 cloves of garlic.  I also grabbed thyme from the garden.

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In a skillet heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil and saute the garlic, onion, and a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme.  After the onion has softened add 1/2 a lb of Sweet Italian sausage or Hot Italian sausage.  Whatever you have on hand.  Add 1/3 a cup of nice red wine.  Cook until the meat is cooked.

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Set aside to cool.  Prep the homemade pasta and let it rest.  Once the sausage has cooled mix in half a cup of ricotta cheese and half a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  After the pasta has rested roll it out in sheets.  Place one sheet on the ravioli mold and create the dents.

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Fill with the sausage mixture.

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Coat with beaten egg. Place another sheet over the sausage mixture and then roll over the pasta.  I struggled with this bit.  I had to use a pasta cutter to separate the individual raviolis.  And it was a struggle to keep the air out.

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Chill the ravioli in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.  For the sauce saute onion and garlic in olive oil.

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Add 1/2 a cup of the same red wine used for the sausage.  Add crushed or diced tomatoes.  I could have used a 14 oz can but I used a 28 oz can and it was a bit much but my husband loves sauce so it didn’t go to waste!  Bring to a simmer and add a few teaspoons of red pepper flakes as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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Add a handful of basil near the end of cooking to the dish.  Start cooking the ravioli at this point in boiling salted water as it only needs to cook for about 4 minutes.  Once it is cooked add it to the sauce.

Sausage Ravioli 9 2014It knocked our son’s socks off but we all loved the simple sauce with the ravioli.  And we got to eat outside and enjoy the lovely evening.

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Homemade Pasta

About a half hour after Rich and I got engaged we decided where we wanted to go on our honeymoon.  Italy!  A place where the house wine rivals great wine stateside.  How could we resist?

One night in Tuscany we signed up for some cooking lessons.  It was just the two of us which was perfect!  One of the things we learned how to do is make pasta.  Turns out this is very easy, so much so, we rarely buy any pasta anymore.

We make a ring of flour using 100 grams.  Now when we learned this we were told this was for one serving.  It makes enough for at least two servings sometimes more depending on how thin you roll it out.  Place one egg in the center.  Use a fork to gradually add the flour to the egg.  As egg sizes aren’t standardized you may need to add a bit more flour if it is too wet.  If it is too dry just add a bit of olive oil at a time until it comes together.  Then knead a couple of times to bring it all together.  Wrap in cling film to rest.

Resting it for about a half hour is good but you can get away with just resting it for 10 minutes if you are in a hurry.  During this time I usually gather various ingredients needed for the sauce.  It has been too hot to make homemade tomato sauce so I used what we had in the fridge and added:

3 cloves of garlic freshly minced

1 small red Italian pepper

2 shiitake mushrooms

1/2 the chicken breast we had leftover from the chicken cordon bleu

1/3 cup of Malbec wine (was a good excuse to open a bottle!)

Saute all the ingredients together then add the sauce and wine to simmer.  Once this is cooking it is time to roll out the pasta.

Make sure the pasta is lightly floured so it doesn’t stick going through the rollers.  I roll at least to a thinness of 5 but will go thinner depending on what I’m making.

When doing pasta the first thing I set up is the water.  In Tuscany we learned to never put oil in the water, just sea salt or kosher salt.  It makes a huge difference.  I get the water up to the boil then turn if off until I’m ready.  That way it only takes a minute or so to bring back to the boil and I get things done on time.

It only takes about 4 minutes to cook.  I do stir occasionally to keep the pasta separate.  Once it is cooked I add it to the sauce and toss.  Then serve.

This meal is super easy to make and it takes about 30-40 minutes depending on the pasta.