Beef Ravioli with Tomato Sauce

I made these ravioli when I spent the day cooking with kids.  They wanted to fill them with a classic bolognese sauce but it’s easier to use the dry meat mixture as a filling and to make a separate tomato sauce to pour over the cooked ravioli.

It took me back to the days when the only ravioli I knew of came out of a tin.

Generally speaking, the pasta for ravioli should be very thin (7 or 8 on the pasta machine) but we left it a little thicker (no 6) to make it easier for the children to handle.

Over the last few weeks I have been watching Masterchef the Professionals and they do seem to like a raviolo (on top of everything!) but I have been surprised by how often they fail to seal them properly.  It’s not particularly difficult – in this instance eight year olds managed it perfectly well – it just takes a bit of care and attention.  Like everything in the kitchen really.

Serves Eight

Ingredients

For the pasta

400g “00” Flour

4 Large Eggs

For the Filling

1 lb Minced Beef

1 Medium Onion

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Carrot

½ Stalk of Celery

2 oz / 50g Grated Parmesan

1 tsp Grated Nutmeg

½ tsp Allspice

Salt and Pepper

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Egg

A splash of Olive Oil

For the Tomato Sauce

2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Medium Onion

4 Cloves of Garlic

A handful of Fresh Basil leaves

Salt and Pepper.

A splash of Olive Oil

Extra Parmesan to serve

Method

For the Pasta

Put the flour and eggs into a food processor and pulse until well combined and a dough forms.  Tip onto a floured surface and knead well.  Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to rest until you are ready to roll it out.  For more information on making pasta look here.

For the Filling

Dice the carrot and celery into very small pieces and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Place a large frying pan over a low heat and add a generous splash of olive oil.  Add the chopped vegetables and sweat gently until softened. Add the nutmeg and allspice and stir through.

Increase the heat and add the beef, break it up with a spatula and stir until well browned.  Stir through the parmesan and season to taste (remember that the parmesan is salty so don’t over do it).

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.  Once cool mix in the egg.

For the Tomato Sauce.

Chop the onion and garlic and sweat in a little olive oil over a low heat.  Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and bring to a simmer.  Tear up half the basil and stir through.  Season to taste.

To Assemble

Roll out the pasta very thinly.  Lay a long strip of pasta on a lightly floured surface.  Place spoonfuls of the beef mixture at 2” intervals along the centre of the pasta.  Lay another strip on top.  Tuck the top layer carefully around the filling – make sure you get rid of any air bubbles.  Using a biscuit cutter cut out neat ravioli leaving a border around the filling.  Take each ravioli carefully in your hand and, using your fingertips, crimp all around the edges to ensure that it is well sealed.

Place the assembled ravioli on a floured surface and keep covered with a damp cloth to stop them drying out as you work.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli for 3 or 4 minutes.  Drain well and serve in bowls, topped with the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan and the rest of the basil leaves (roughly torn).

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