Hearty Sausage and Cheese Ravioli Ragout

With the new year nearly upon us I thought this would be a good time to bring this blog back to life.  With the nights getting longer and colder I wanted to start out with a “stick to your ribs” meal.  For me this makes me think of pasta automatically.  The thing that I love about homemade pasta is that it is so versatile.  It can be served with sausage, meatballs or chicken; also anything from a creamy Alfredo sauce to an earthy pesto or a traditional red sauce.  The possibilities are truly endless.  In the case of ravioli even the filling itself can be customized to fit any meal.

Ragu 1

I make my pasta with cake flour in place of the more traditional semolina.  It gives the final pasta a lighter texture when it is cooked.  To get the round ravioli shapes I am using two different sized round cookie cutters.  The larger one is for cutting the pasta and the smaller one is for retaining the filling so that the pasta dough can make a clean seal. If you only have one size cutter tortellini are just as easy to make.  Most pasta machines also come standard with square ravioli attachments.  Feel free to experiment on what works best for you.

Ragu 2

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Sausage and Cheese Ravioli Ragout
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Loose Sausage
  • 5.2 Oz Borsin Cheese
  • 2 C Cake Flour
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 4 Strips Bacon cut into small strips
  • 4 Cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 3 Ribs Celery diced
  • 2 Carrots diced
  • 2 C Chianti Wine
  • 6 Roma Tomatoes diced
  • 4 Assorted Mushrooms sliced
  • 2 Whole Eggs beaten (for egg wash)
Instructions
  1. Cook the sausage on medium heat, strain out the grease and let cool in the refrigerator. When it has cooled mix the sausage with the cheese until it is smooth. Place back in the refrigerator until needed.
  2. Make a well with the flour on the table and slowly whisk in the eggs with the olive oil until the mixture forms a tight dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add more flour or oil as needed. Cover and let this rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a large pot cook the bacon on low heat until all of the fat is rendered out. Remove the bacon and set aside, reserve the fat for cooking the vegetables.
  4. In the reserved bacon fat sauté the garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Let this cook until the vegetables become tender.
  5. Add the red wine tomatoes and mushrooms. Let the liquid reduce by half.
  6. Remove half of this mixture and run it through a blender or food processor then add it back to the same pot. Keep the sauce on low heat while the pasta is being made.
  7. Remove the pasta dough and filling from the fridge. On a floured surface roll the pasta to #3 on the pasta machine. Cut the pasta into rounds using the larger cookie cutter and set aside on a floured surface. Repeat until all the pasta dough has been used.
  8. Place the smaller cookie cutter upside down on half of the pasta circles and place the filling inside of them. You will only need about a ¼ inch of filling on each circle. If there is too much filling the pasta will not seal properly and will fall apart when it is cooked.
  9. Brush the remaining pasta rounds with the egg wash and place them against the ones with the filling. Press against the perimeter to be sure that it forums a tight seal.
  10. Boil the pasta until it begins to float on the water.
  11. Serve the raviolis with the ragout sauce and garnish with fresh herbs.
 

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