PLATES AND PALATES

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Recipe: Sausage Ravioli




Valentine's Day is just around the corner. How will show your special loved one that they are appreciated?
With today's featured recipe there is no need to wait for a special occasion to show them how much they are loved. Everyday could be Valentine's Day!



Ladies, it is said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Nothing says I love you more than homemade pastry pillows filled with sweet Italian sausage, topped with marinara. Homemade of course. One bite and you'll agree that ravioli will never be thought of the same way again.

As long as you have taken the time to prepare a loving masterpiece why not bake a loaf of bread too.

In doing so you will send a a message to your man that will be crystal clear - The love in preparing this dish is worth more than roses and chocolate!

Don't be dismayed if he brings home roses and chocolate though.You now have a beautiful centerpiece and desert too. Lovingly thank him and send him out again -This time for a bottle of wine.

*Recipe consists of four components -

(1) Dough (2) Filling (3) Sauce (4) Assembly

Dough:
Preparing dough can be overwhelming if you have never made it before. For directions to a perfect ravioli dough visit www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/ravioli-dough-recipe Prepare dough according to directions and set aside.

Filling: 8 Sweet Italian sausage links, 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella, 1/2 C. Shredded Parmesan, 3 Cloves garlic - minced, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 2 T. fresh Italian parsley - lightly chopped, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 - 1/2 C. cracker crumbs, 1 egg.

(1) Remove sausage from casings. Holding over bowl, cut one end and squeeze in a downward motion. Meat should slide from casings with ease.

(2) In a gallon size freezer bag place 6-8 saltine crackers. Zip bag tightly removing any air. Break crackers into crumbs.

(3) Place cheeses, garlic, herbs and spices into bowl with sausage. Mix well. Add cracker crumbs and egg and blend thoroughly. If mixture is too dry, add a little milk. If too wet, add more crumbs.

Sauce: Sauce is a "secret family recipe" and not publicly shared. For an easy marinara sauce visit http://www.foodnetwork.com/ and select from the many options available or substitute your favorite commercial brand and eliminate this step.

Assembly:
Once pasta is prepared for filling, dust your counter top and dough with flour. Layout a large sheet of pasta onto floured surface. Brush the top surface with egg wash (whisked water and egg).

Place a tablespoon of filling mixture about two inches apart on the lower half of pasta. Fold top over, meeting bottom, covering the filling. With your fingers, gently press around filling mounds to press out air bubbles in dough. Use a crimper tool to cut into squares. Be sure edges are tightly sealed before boiling.

Cook ravioli (approx. 6 at a time) in boiling water. Ravioli will float to the top (about 10 minutes) when done. With a slotted spoon remove ravioli, plate and top with sauce.

Now that's Amore!

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