Sausage ravioli with sumptuous tomato

STEPS 7 INGREDIENTS 8 TIME 60-70 MINS

Looking to move past the 'pasta-and-sauce' stage of Italian cooking? Then this sausage ravioli recipe is a great place to start.

This fresh pasta winner comes down to just 3 key tasks:

• Making the tomato sauce (easy)

• Frying up the sausage stuffing (simple)

• And thirdly – making and filling the fresh pasta (it's a doddle!).

fresh_sausage_ravioli_squares

The whole process takes a little time yes, but there’s nothing technical involved, and the sense of accomplishment you get from making pasta parcels is very real.

Just before we start: check out my making fresh pasta pages (written or video) as you’ll need to follow one of these when we reach this recipe’s ‘making fresh pasta’ step.

Now let’s make sausage ravioli!

Serves 2

Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link to save the list for later.)

For the stuffing

1 tasty sausage (roughly 130g/4.5oz) or flavoured/herby sausage meat

1 small onion

Optional: Pinch of pepper/ground sage/paprika (whichever you prefer)

For the pasta

2 eggs

Plain/all-purpose flour (roughly 250g/8.8oz)

Salt

For the sauce

400g/14oz tin of chopped tomatoes (or just chop plum toms)

Extra virgin olive oil

10 fresh basil leaves

Optional: parmesan cheese (to grate)

Equipment

2 deep pans/skillets (1 for the pasta, 1 the sauce)

Frying pan

Rolling pin

Colander/sieve

Kitchen paper

Optional:

Ravioli cutter (like this Mario Batali ravioli wheel)

Pasta roller machine

STEP 1 - As usual, first we’ll prepare...

- Wash and tear the basil leaves.

- Peel and finely chop the onion (really as fine as possible).

STEP 2 - Here we’ll make the tomato sauce. And while it's cooking (for 20 mins), we'll also deal with the ravioli stuffing in step 3.

making_pasta_tomato_sauce

- Cover half the base of your first deep pan with olive oil. Warm this up on a medium heat hob.

- Drop in half of the chopped onion and the basil leaves. Sizzle for 5-6 mins, until the onion softens.

- Pour in the can of chopped toms and add a teaspoon of salt.

Now... we’ll cook these toms, stirring often, for 15-20 mins. Until the sauce thickens and it loses any sourness. So set your timer and while this sauce cooks...

STEP 3 - Let’s make our meatiest of ravioli stuffings!

- Take half the remaining onion and spend a minute chopping it even more finely. It needs to be super-smooth inside the ravioli.

- Cut the skin off the sausage and squeeze out the meat. Chop this roughly.

(Don’t forget - Every minute or two, check and stir the tomato sauce.)

- Just dirty/stain your frying pan with oil and heat this on a medium heat hob.

- Add the sausage meat, 2 pinches of salt (between index finger and thumb) and the finely chopped onion.

Frying_sausage_ravioli_filling

- Fry this mixture for 10-15 mins – until browned.

Be sure to ‘chop’ the meat and onion constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula for the first 5 minutes - the meat bits should be as tiny as possible.

- Throw in a pinch or two of pepper/paprika/sage – whichever you prefer.

Stir occasionally until done, also checking the tomato sauce.

- When both stuffing and tomato sauce are done, take these off the heat.

sausage_ravioli_stuffing

STEP 4 - Cover a small dish with kitchen paper and spoon in the sausage ravioli stuffing mixture.

This removes excess oil from the stuffing (ravioli stuffing shouldn’t be wet).

STEP 5 - Okay, time to make our fresh pasta.

Follow the steps on my fresh pasta pages (written or video) to create flat fresh pasta.

To get it really flat (essential)... you have 2 options:

1. Just keep rolling until you can’t get the pasta any thinner.

2. Employ a pasta machine to roll the pasta into super-thin strips.

STEP 6 - Let’s assume you’ve simply rolled and you now have a large rough circle of flat pasta:

You now have 2 ravioli making options:

1. Make semi-circular/half-moon ravioli (or pansotti) by cutting our circles using a cup or glass.

2. Make traditional square ravioli using a ravioli cutter.

To make pansotti

- Cut out as many pasta circles as you can with a glass/cup.

- Crack and mix an egg in a bowl; this will be your pasta 'glue'.

make_ravioli_pansotti

- Blob a small amount of the sausage ravioli stuffing into the middle of each pasta circle.

- Use an egg brush or a clean, folded piece of kitchen roll (or your clean finger) to dab a little egg along one side of each pasta circle to help it stick (see example right).

- Fold the circle in half so the egg mix sticks the ravioli together. Press a fork around the edge to seal it in a half-moon shape.

To make square ravioli

- Using a knife, cut a large even square of pasta out of your flat circle, being careful to waste as little pasta as possible.

- Cut this square into two equal rectangular halves.

Crucial tip: Ravioli cutters can mark wooden work surfaces. Use a hard marble or metal surface, or a large chopping board for this next bit if worried.

- Use a knife or finger to scratch one half of the flat pasta into equal 5cm/2.5-inch squares.

Using_ravioli_fillings

- Blob a half teaspoon of sausage ravioli stuffing into the middle of each square.

- Carefully place the other rectangle of flat pasta over the first, making sure the sides match up.

- With a finger or the side of your hand, press firmly down on the original pasta ‘lines’ to produce distinct ravioli square shapes.

- Slowly and firmly, run the ravioli cutter along these lines. This should separate the squares and give them that great frilly ravioli edge.

Any spare stuffing? Drop this into the tomato sauce.

STEP 7 - Finally, we’ll warm up the sauce and cook the ravioli. Nearly there!

- Boil up two kettles worth of water, transfer to the pasta pan, and get this boiling. Also stir in 2 tablespoons of salt.

- Stir the tomato sauce on place on a medium heat hob. This will warm as we quickly cook the ravioli.

- Drop the ravioli into the boiling pasta water and cook for just 2 minutes. (It will first rise, then just a minute more.)

Drain using a colander and place in serving bowls.

- Finally, spoon the tomato sauce over the ravioli and...

Done!

To serve: If you have parmesan, grate a little over each portion.

sausage_ravioli_recipe

How tasty is this sausage ravioli? It’s got one of the meatiest ravioli fillings I know.

Enjoyed this sausage ravioli?

Then try these ravioli fillings next...

Butternut squash – it’s super-sweet and very moreish.

Spinach and ricotta – very traditional, popular, and easy to taste why.



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