National Ravioli Day!

Happy National Ravioli Day – one of my favorite foods.  While these delicious dough pillows can be filled with exotic flavors they are just as fine with grated cheese and ground meet.  I have only tried making ravioli from scratch a few times with notably mixed success, but then there are plenty of places to get fresh artisanal ravioli here in New York – my current favorite is Agata and Valentina where you can watch them being formed.

You can also sauce them creatively but I love a simple homemade tomato sauce that can be quickly and easily prepared with ingredients you should always keep on hand.
In a large pot over medium heat cook a chopped onion in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.
Sweat the onion (softened but not browned) for about ten minutes and add minced garlic cloves to taste (about 2 to 3 cloves) and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
{If you wanted to make a hearty meat sauce add about 3 links Italian Sausage here, breaking up the meat until cooked through and no pink remains, but it is fine without as well.}
Add 1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano tomatoes, squeezing each tomato in your hands to break them up (careful not to squirt the juices onto your shirt) and pouring the remaining juices into the pan.  I always give the can a quick rinse with about a quarter cup water to catch all the clinging sauce and add to pan, but then I am pretty cheap.
Increase heat to medium high, season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a light simmer.
If desired add some chopped basil late in the cooking.

Generally I find if I start the water to boil for the ravioli and start this recipe, all are ready about the same time.  You can then drain the ravioli (or pluck out with a spider) and toss the ravioli to cook for a few minutes before serving, topped with grated or shaved Parmegiano Reggiano cheese.  Makes a tasty and quick weeknight dinner!

dreamstime_xxl_54831750 ravioli basil tomato sauce Italian food

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

TOMORROW: a review of The Band’s Visit on Broadway

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