Cheese Ravioli with Tomato and Basil Sauce Recipe:
Ricotta and parsley stuffed homemade Ravioli with basil infused Marinara sauce.
The recipe is a reminiscent of my many Italian rendezvous at various fine restaurants across the city, with the most recent ones being Café Diva and Smoke House Deli in G.K-1 and Khan Market respectively. Both occasions were parties thrown by some friends, so I don’t have enough material or pictures to write a decent review. Don’t you worry for I am sure going back there and can at least give you this much that both are sure worth a re-visit.
Getting back from the detour, now that you know what inspired me to make these raviolis let me also tell you why I thought of making everything from scratch myself. Health indeed, but also that this is what true Italian is about, freshest of produce and country home cooking. Making pasta is no rocket science; all you need to do is add some love into the making :p. No seriously, since art of kneading dough comes to us Indians pretty naturally you’ll see that homemade pastas are also not too difficult for us. Like I said, a little love, a little care and fresh ingredients, especially fresh tomatoes that are available in abundance is all that we need to create this Italian magic on plate.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4, makes 10 large raviolis):
For the cheese filling:
- 100 gms ricotta
- 1 tbsp dry parsley or 1/4th cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup grated cheddar (or parmesan)
- 1 egg yolk
- Salt to taste
- Some chopped fresh basil leaves.
For the dough:
- 1 cup all purpose flour, and extra for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the tomato sauce:
- 6 small tomatoes
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped, approx ¼ cup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup water
- Salt to taste
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp crystal sugar
To serve, optional
- Few cherry tomatoes cut into halves
- Fresh spring of basil
- Parmesan shavings
- Into 3/4th cup flour, crack an egg; add oil and water and using a spatula mix it together till everything incorporates well together. Then add the remaining flour slowing and mix well for 5-10 minutes.
- Then generously dust the work surface and knead into soft dough, till it is non-sticky and elastic. You may require to dust with flour in between and knead for 15-20 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients together, taste and add more salt and herbs to suit your taste.
The Marinara Sauce:
- Boil the tomatoes with a cross-section slits on the back in a little water. Boil just till they are soft, then allow to cool, drain out, discard the skin and the pits.
- Now heat oil in a sauce pan and sauté garlic and onion, then add the remaining ingredients and cook on slow flame till the sauce thickens to a quantity sufficient to be served with the pasta.
- Allow the chunks of tomatoes to remain, stir in the basil leaves, cover and keep aside.
- Divide the dough into 10 +2 small rounds (our dough made 12 but the filling was only enough for 10, so the 2 leftover was made into a chapattis later.
- Roll into flat & thin circles. Divide the filling into 10 parts, and with a spoon spread the filling on one half of each pasta leaving ½ inch border.
- Fold the other half of the pasta dough over the filling to make semicircular ravioli. Tap with fingers to seal the ends together, ensuring that there are no air pockets inside.
- Use a fork to crimp the ends and seal together properly. Keep raviolis in a single layer spread on a slightly dusted flat surface. Leave to dry for about 45 minutes.
- Boil about 2 ltrs of water in a pot; add some salt and a tbsp vegetable oil.
- Cook raviolis in 2 batches for approx 10 mins, until the pasta is al dente. Drain well and serve immediately.
- Heat a plate to serve, place the raviolis and generously top up with the tomato sauce, add some cherry tomatoes, a spring of fresh basil and some parmesan shavings. Serve warm, Bon Appétit!