Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Ravioli with Smoked Tomatoes, Olives, Capers and Goat Cheese

This sauce is a take on puttanesca sauce, without the anchovies...simply because I had none! I did have a tablespoon of capers, some thyme goat cheese, half an onion, half a red pepper, opened tomato paste and a couple of Parmesan rinds to use. I added smoked tomatoes, Kalamata olives and a bit of Basic Tomato Sauce and turned the bits and pieces into a very tasty, chunky sauce for my chicken and rosemary ravioli.

The olives I was using were in a brine made from red wine, so I added a bit of that to the sauce, which increased the saltiness a bit, similar to the way that anchovies would. Between the olives, capers and Parmesan rinds I did not need to add much salt to the sauce.

There was about half a cup of the sauce left over, and I served it with pork tenderloin tonight, adding some grape tomatoes to it. All in all, this was an easy sauce to make, but the amount of flavour will make people think you spent a long time making it!

In a bit of olive oil, cook until soft:

1/2 medium onion, diced


1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of chili flakes

Cook until the red pepper softens.

Stir in:

1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste

Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.


6 smoked roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped


2 Parmesan rinds
1 tablespoon capers, drained
10 pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red wine olive brine
1/2 cup water

Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in:

1/2 - 3/4 cup Basic Tomato Sauce

Simmer, stirring occasionally.

Allow the sauce to simmer while you boil the water for cooking the pasta, and while it cooks. If the sauce is too dry, add a small amount of the pasta cooking water to it. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning...at the point I had not added any, and found that I only needed a small amount of salt and some pepper. The individual ingredients added quite a bit of salt, and the chili flakes provided a nice heat.

To serve, drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, or serve it with the sauce on top, as I did. Sprinkle it with some crumbled soft goat cheese.

  • Instead of smoked tomatoes, use fresh roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped or even canned tomatoes, drained and chopped...reserve the juice to use in the sauce if you need it.
  • If you still want the smokiness, but don't have smoked tomatoes, cook a couple of rashers of diced bacon in the pan, and then add the onions and proceed. 
  • Garnishing the plate with chopped fresh basil will add freshness in flavour and colour.
  • I mentioned adding some of the red wine brine from my olives...you can add 2 tablespoons of red wine, or even Balsamic vinegar.
  • This chunky sauce will be nice on a panini, or on a pizza.
  • Other cheeses that can be used include feta, Parmesan or Asiago.
  • If you have anchovies, mash and add them to the sauce along with the olives and capers. Add as many as you feel comfortable with. They are incredibly salty, and rinsing them before using them will remove some of the salt.

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