This meal was not inspired by a food item to begin with, but by the fact that there were no plastic containers left to put food away in! So a fridge cleanout took place, and once I had placed everything that needed to be used onto the counter, my mind started to work and this is what I came up with.
Needless to say, almost everything I used in this meal was in a plastic container....this was a true Almost Wasted meal!
4 eggs....fresh pasta
1/2 onion, 1 1/2 roasted red peppers, a Parmesan rind, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and parsley stalks....sauce
Open ricotta cheese, lots of goat cheese, frozen cooked spinach, 3 leftover grilled Cambray onions, the last of a bunch of parsley (stalks were used in the sauce)....filling
2 Asiago and roasted red pepper sausages....why not add them to the meal???
To start the sauce, cook in a drizzle of olive oil:
1/2 medium onion, diced
Fresh parsley stalks
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Cook over a medium heat until the onion starts to soften.
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
1 1/2 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
1 Parmesan rind
1 cup Basic Tomato Sauce
Turn the heat down to a simmer, and cover. Cook until the onions are soft, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and puree. taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside until needed.
While the sauce is simmering, make the filling for the ravioli. I also made the fresh pasta, but you can use purchased sheets of pasta to save time.
3 grilled Cambray onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped, cooked spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
To assemble the raviolis, make sure the counter is dry before putting the fresh pasta sheets down. Have a baking sheet ready, lightly sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal, to place the assembled raviolis.
Lay a sheet of fresh pasta on the counter, and place grape sized balls of filling along, slightly off centred.
Space them just more than a finger with apart.
Lightly brush one long edge of the pasta sheet with water, as well as the pasta in between the filling.
Fold the pasta sheet over the filling, pressing gently but firmly in between each ball of filling to seal, and then pressing down the long edge to seal that.
To separate the raviolis, cut in between each one, along the middle of the sealed section of pasta.
I like to then use a fork dipped in flour to make sure the cut edges are well sealed. It also gives a decorative look to the ravioli.
Place the filled raviolis on the prepared baking sheet.
They are now ready to cook.
Cook the raviolis in lightly salted, boiling water until they float to the top and the pasta around the edges is al dente, approximately 5 minutes. Drain and toss with the hot sauce. I also grilled a couple of Asiago and roasted red pepper sausages, slicing them and adding them to the bowls.
- I used my 4 eggs to make fresh pasta sheets for the ravioli, but you can purchase pasta sheets and use those. You can also make the filling and use it to stuff the jumbo pasta shells, or cannelloni shells.
- The roasted red peppers that were in my fridge were there because I had a couple of peppers that were starting to lose their crunch, so we roasted them. We had only used half of one, so I used the rest to make this sauce. Purchased roasted red peppers can be used instead.
- Adding the parsley stalks to the sauce is a good way to use them, as they are still full of flavour and goodness. I separated them from the leaves, and then finely chopped the leaves to use in the filling. This is a good thing to keep in mind when using any soft stemmed herbs such as parsley or basil.
- A couple of nights ago we had chicken fajitas with grilled Cambray onions; I had 3 half onions left and added them to the filling. They are slightly sweeter than regular white onions, and the grilling added some smokiness. Use minced green onions, or diced and cook white or red onions, shallots or leeks, until soft. Let them cool before adding them to the cheese.
- Goat cheese can be omitted...use only ricotta cheese.
- If you are not going to cook the ravioli immediately, wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze them. This prevents the filling making the pasta soggy. Cook them from frozen; they will take a few minutes longer to cook.