Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homemade Ravioli and Pasta Sauce ~

 I was asked to do a demonstration of Homemade Ravioli tonight and while I was at it I figured I would take photos of the process and add the recipe here on my blog.  This is a big family treat and often requested for birthday dinners. Even if you don't make the Ravioli you will have to try the pasta sauce. It is so good and will even dress up store bought pasta.  The full recipes are at the end of the blog and here are the step by step photos.

 These are the tools I use. Pasta machines are really handy to use and not too expensive. Or you can use a rolling pin and a knife. Either one works.
 These are the simple ingredients needed for the dough.
 Add your olive oil to the eggs, then beat them and stir into the flour. Knead into a ball. 
 It will be a hard ball, not soft like bread dough. Keep the dough covered or in a plastic bag while you make the filling.

Brown the sausage in a pan and when cool, mix it with the other ingredients for the filling.

Add the cooked and drained spinach.
 Cut your dough ball into 1/4ths and work with one at a time. Run it through the pasta machine set on 1 for a few times to get a smooth rectangle and then start running it through the machine to make it thinner.
 Lay your dough out on the ravioli form of your counter.

 Add the filling. Put water on the dough between the filling to ensure a good seal.
 Cut with a knife or use a rolling pin to seal the ravioli.
At this point, you can refrigerate the ravioli, or freeze and bag to cook later.
 Let's begin the best sauce you've ever tasted.
 Brown the meats in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
 Add 2 quarts of good quality crushed tomatoes.
 Cover and simmer for an hour.
 Add the tomato paste and basil and oregano if desired and simmer for another hour.
 You may need to add a cup of water at this point. Cook your ravioli from either fresh or frozen in a pot of boiling water. It should just take 3 to 4 minutes if fresh and a few more minutes frozen.  Serve with pasta sauce and top with grated cheese.

Pasta Dough

2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil                                           
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
Mix ingredients and knead until dough is hard in consistency. Cut dough into 1/4ths. Keep the rest of the dough covered while you work. Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll the dough into thin sheets. This can be cut into thin noodles or used to make ravioli.

Ravioli Filling

1 pound pork sausage                                           
15 ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese                          
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¾ cup chopped frozen spinach
Fry sausage until well browned. Drain. Thaw and drain spinach. Mix all ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

1 pound ground beef                                             
1 pound pork sausage
2 quart cans crushed tomatoes                         
1 small can tomato paste
Chopped parsley – optional                                 
Chopped basil – optional

Fry meats until well browned. Add canned tomatoes and cover pan. Cook meat and tomatoes slowly for one hour. Add tomato paste, parsley, basil and salt to suit taste.  Allow to boil slowly for another hour. This will make the sauce thick and ready to serve.