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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Roasted Mushroom and Parsnip Ravioli

It is spring break from school this week for the kids and I set up yesterday to be a bake day for them as they like to get into the kitchen.  While they were making cookies and congo bars I thought I’d make raviolis for dinner.  I hadn’t made them in awhile as it is somewhat time consuming.  Question was, what to make?  I knew I wanted mushrooms but wasn’t sure what else to do.  As my gaze wandered round the kitchen I saw the parsnips my husband pulled from the garden.  This is a great treat as we planted them last year.  So I decided to do a roasted mushroom and parsnip mixture.  I was really pleased with the results!

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I bought oyster, baby bellas, and shiitake mushrooms.  I coarsely chopped them along with the parsnips and tossed them with olive oil and salt and pepper.

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These were roasted at 400 F/204C stirring occasionally as they roasted.  About halfway through I added some fresh thyme.

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Once they had browned nicely I set the veg aside to cool completely.  While this was cooling I prepped the pasta to rest.  Once the mixture cooled I put it into the food processor and grated some Jarlsberg cheese.  It was about 1/2 cup of cheese.  I also added a couple of splashes of dry sherry.

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I pulsed the processor until it was a coarse mixture.

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Now I haven’t gotten round to getting ravioli molds yet so I am still doing this by hand.  Well I do have a Kitchen Aid to roll it out so we’re halfway there.  🙂  I roll out a sheet at a time and fill as I go.  All that is needed for the filling is about a teaspoon of mixture then brush a beaten egg round the mixture to help seal the pasta.

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It is important to get the air out! Though that isn’t always easy but you could end up with burst balloons if there is too much air.

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Before I cooked the ravioli I sauteed up some garlic and mushrooms and prepared this cream and butter sauce to complete the dish.  The ravioli only needs to cook for about 4 minutes in boiling salted water.

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Drain and toss in the sauce and serve.

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It had a lovely earthy flavour and it was great on a cool night.

Cream and Butter Sauce

One of my favourite cook books came from my good friend Corrie.  She and I have spent many a time over the years sharing good wine and food.  The feasts we’ve had!  For our wedding she bought us the “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marchella Hazan.  There are some wonderful recipes in this book and a great one is cream and butter sauce.  Also known as Alfredo sauce.  I usually make this with our Homemade Pasta.

However it was a crazy day so I used mushroom ravioli instead.  🙂

I did deviate from the recipe in the book a little so here is my version:

1 cup heavy cream

2T of butter

1 cup freshly grated parmigian-reggia

Pepper to taste.  (her recipe calls for salt.  I love salt but I find that the cheese adds plenty of saltiness as a good base.  I usually add a bit of salt at the table.)

A few shakes of ground nutmeg ( her recipe calls for whole nutmeg to be freshly ground)

Melt the butter in a small pan and add the cream. Heat slowly and stir with a whisk frequently.  Do not whisk so hard it becomes thick.  This is not a thick sauce but a lovely creamy sauce that coats the pasta.

While the sauce is warming up I saute mushrooms and garlic.  This time we had bacon left over from the Bacon Crostini  so I used a bit of that.  As the bacon starts to crisp up I add a bit of white balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.

I add the cheese to the heated cream and butter and stir thoroughly as it melts.  I then add the pepper and nutmeg.  Adjust the seasoning as needed.  At this time the pasta is cooking.  Just as the pasta is done I add the sauce to the mushroom mixture and then the pasta.  Toss and serve.

Grate some fresh cheese and enjoy!  This is an uncomplicated dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make if you aren’t making fresh pasta and the flavours are amazing.