I recently came back from another successful outing to Astoria’s superb Greek and Italian markets, where I picked up some fresh ravioli from Cassinelli Food Products (stay tuned for our forthcoming review of what to buy and where in Astoria). When you have ravioli this good, you don’t want to mask them with a strong sauce. One option for a subtle yet delicious preparation is the always reliable brown butter and sage.
Here’s another idea – combining chopped garlic, good olive oil, white wine, red pepper flakes, and chicken or other stock makes a versatile yet simple recipe that is perfect for fresh pasta. It can be served unadorned except for some chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese. Or it can serve as a base for a more elaborate pasta dish – perhaps when you are using pasta not up to the Cassinelli standard (or even just dried pasta from the supermarket).
1/2 pound fresh ravioli
2-4 garlic cloves, chopped or sliced
2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil, some reserved
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken or other stock (or low sodium chicken broth)
pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a handful of salt and the ravioli. Cook the ravioli until it is 1-2 minutes short of al dente and then drain. It will finish cooking later in the sauce.
2. Meanwhile heat a pan large enough to hold the ravioli to medium low heat. When hot add olive oil, reserving some for later. After 30 seconds, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, if using, and salt and pepper, and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock, raise the heat to medium high and let the liquid boil gently. Then reduce the heat to medium low to simmer.
3. When the ravioli are done, increase the heat to medium-high and add them. Cook the ravioli in the sauce, stirring frequently, until the ravioli are done, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Transfer to 2-3 plates and top with the reserved olive oil, chopped parsley, and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 2-3 servings
This basic sauce can also works nicely with slightly more elaborate pasta dishes. This one, for example, added shallots, green beans, yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, and sliced turkey sausages. Brown the vegetables and sausages before adding the wine and stock in step 2 and proceed as normal.