Ravioli tomato sauce


Deceptively simple is the name of the game.
The ravioli were homemade, as was the tomato sauce. But to start at the beginning…I was walking across my favorite market on a Saturday morning feeling uninspired. My better half didn’t want fish (neither did I, I’d had fish 3x this week), nor did I see any fascinating vegetables other than the usual winter fare. Mind you, there’s a time and place for all of nature’s inventions, but I was feeling picky.
There is a butcher on the plaza that houses the market who has been awarded a plaque saying his shop is one of the best in Germany, according to ‚Feinschmecker‘, a gourmet monthly magazine. Here I bought two sausages with a finely cuttered filling (pork). Then I bicycled a few hundred yards to an italian supermarket ( a small one), where the customer sevice is great. There are more employees than customers, usually, so you can get detailed information on all the products they have. I bought two cans of the famed San Marzano tomatoes from the foot of Mount Vesuvius. I got some other things, such as a fresh basil plant, some arborio risotto rice, some italian ’00‘ flour and a fresh piece of parmigiano reggigiano and went on my way.
At home I made the pasta dough by combining 200 g of the flour with 50 g of durum wheat semolina and 3 whole eggs. The original recipe called for two whole eggs and 4 yolks and I thought that was a little over the top. The dough as kneaded for about 7 minutes, wrapped in Saran wrap and chilled in the fridge for a little over an hour. This was the first time a dough was usable without additional flour and such. I have made Marcella Hazan’s recipe a few times, only to have to add more flour because the dough was too sticky. Not here.

For the filling I cut the sausages apart lengthwise and removed the filling from the casing. This I combined with a few tablespoons ricotta, salt, pepper, oregano and a spice mix made of a blend of anise seeds, fennel seeds and caraway seeds. I used just a pinch to conjure visions of salsiccia which sometimes is made with fennel as well. After I had made the dough with my manual noodle macchine, I used a small spoon to portion the amount of filling for the ravioli. These I put aside awaiting their swim in boiling water.
For the sauce I chopped a large shallot and an equally large garlic clove and slow roasted that in a pool of good olive oil. To this I added some tomato paste, roasted this as well and added the last of my bottle of Noilly Prat, the vermouth that makes a wonderful sauce. After that came the canned tomatoes, oblong in shape and with a sweetness I haven’t found in other canned tomato products. These tomatoes I cut into little pieces, added salt, pepper, sugar (1 teaspoon) and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. I reduced the sauce somewhat, to intensify the flavor, and then cut up another bunch of basil for a last-minute sauce infusion.
Not shown is the Parmesan cheese we whittled over the ravioli with my newest toy, a microplane shredder (do you call it that?) or a whittler? This microplane gadget is great. I have a WMF grater- it sucks compared to this thing.

Synopsis: As simple as these ingredients sound, they were at optimum taste. My only criticism, not shared by my better half, is with the thickness of the noodle dough. She liked it, I thought it a little bit too thick. The problem is when I use the smallest setting on the noodle machine, the dough starts tearing.
Nonetheless. I would make this again, in particular for young people, to show them how good the real deal really is.

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2 Kommentare zu “Ravioli tomato sauce

  1. What a great ravioli. Those San Marzano tomatoes are fabulous, but very expensive. I love, love the fennel,anise and caraway mixture.I have a microplane too which is perfect for zesting citrus, got it at Williams-Sonoma.I like to buy the "hot" Italian sausage and add fennel to it as opposed to the "mild" which has plenty of fennel.Thank You for this post, I haven't made ravioli in awhile.Take care.

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  2. BAG sagt:

    well, to be honest, they were great, but i prefer the deal without fennel and anise.

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