Ravioli With Arrabbiata Sauce
Obviously, if you have the time, talent and inclination, fresh, homemade raviolis would be the best with this dish. However, in this day and age, I am perfectly comfortable using pre-made ravioli found in the fresh pasta section of every major grocery and warehouse store. I have found great versions made by the Monterey Pasta Company readily available. I prefer to use a four cheese and/or spinach ravioli for this dish, but have also found that tortellini and pappradelle rags works great as well. I wouldn’t suggest any type of pasta that is not hearty and full-bodied. This sauce needs a dense pasta to stand up to it.
Arrabbiata is an Italian word for angry or furious and refers in this dish to the wrath of red pepper. Obviously, if you are not a fan of spice, this is not the dish for you. Certainly you can use less red pepper than I do below (and I generally like food very spicy) but you simply can’t eliminate the spice all together because then you aren’t making Arrbbiata sauce…you’re just making some silly red sauce.
8-9 ounces ravioli, cooked to just before al dente (usually takes no more than 3-4 minutes in boiling water…make sure you don’t overcook!)
One 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes with their liquid
1/8 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ to 1 full teaspoon red hot pepper flakes (crushed as described below)
Salt and pepper
Makes 2 servings
1. In a deep sauté pan or saucepan, stir together the tomatoes with their liquid and the chopped garlic, olive oil and dried oregano. Bring to a boil and immediately lower heat to maintain a low boil.
2. Stir sauce regularly and often, breaking up the tomatoes with a large spoon (wooden, sauté, mixing, etc). After about 30 minutes the sauce should be nice and thick.
3. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper and stir, checking the taste.
4. Place the pasta in its boiling water (the water should be mixed with about a tablespoon of salt and tablespoon and olive oil, of course) to be cooked
5. As pasta cooks, place the red pepper flakes in the palm of one of your hands and then, holding your hands over the sauce, crush the pepper flakes into the sauce (the crushing brings out the heat of the flakes). Stir the sauce well and allow to simmer until pasta is cooked. Make sure you wash your hands VERY well after the red pepper flake crushing or you will regret it later.
6. Place perfectly cooked ravioli in sauce and gently stir together the pasta with the sauce over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Serve