Hands down the very first thing I miss as we enter the colder Fall and Winter months is fresh tomatoes. Whether I grow them in my backyard or pick them up at the local produce market they seem to be on my every dish in the summer time. Now that it’s cold that’s changed a bit, but possibly for the better?
My parents grow some mean tomatoes all summer, with some incredibly nutrient rich soil, and then cans them up for winter. No offense to my mom and pops, but I’d put the tomatoes I used in this recipe up against theirs any day.
With delicious tomatoes comes an even more amazing Sauce Pomodoro. No matter what you are cooking or creating, if you don’t start with quality products you aren’t going to have a good end result.
Sauce Pomodoro is probably the most basic of tomato sauces, but wow is it good when paired up with these homemade braid pork and fontina stuffed raviolis that I made. It all starts with prepping up the garlic and onions. If you are a movie buff then you’ve most certainly seen Good Fellas. Well, remember when they’re in prison and they are making tomato sauce and Henry Hill, Ray Liotta’s character, talks about how you slice the garlic super thin with a razor so that it liquefies when it hits the hot oil?
Well I wasn’t in prison when I sliced up the garlic but I did manage to get’em pretty dang thin. Also no offense to Ray Liotta’s food knowledge but garlic would never liquefy, sorry please don’t shoot me! Once you lightly caramelize the garlic and onions you add in the Mutti Finely Diced Tomatoes along with some crushed red pepper flakes and a bay leaf, and let it stew over low heat for about 2 hours.
I totally went into this recipe thinking I needed to add tomato paste to help add some body to my sauce Pomodoro, but after slow cooking the tomatoes for a few hours it naturally thickened up and that already delicious tomato flavor got even tastier. I finished up the sauce by pureeing it with a hand mixer and stirring in some balsamic vinegar, fresh grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. If you want, you can definitely add in some fresh basil. Up to you.
Now that you’ve got an amazing sauce it’s time to make the raviolis. I am literally the luckiest man on earth because I just had to braise a pork shoulder roast with vegetables. So needless-to-say I already had an amazing filling to add in to my raviolis. To be honest you could stuff it with whatever you want. It could be Italian sausage, cheese, mushrooms, a combo of all three, literally the possibilities are endless. If you are like me and just happen to have a braised pork lying around, be sure to use it :-).
The ravioli pasta recipe is incredibly easy to make, even by hand. Honestly I rather prefer making and rolling out my own pasta; It’s become therapeutic to me. If you need a great recipe, then check out my Homemade Fettucini Pasta with Ragu all Bolognese. Quickly though, it’s simply a cup each of semolina flour and ap-flour mixed together with 3 eggs. Told you making pasta was easier than you might have thought.
Once you’ve got your pasta dough rolled out simply stuff them up with some of your ingredients and top off with some more dough and cut. You can use a hand cutter or one of those handy ravioli cutter maker things that you see in the picture. Either way, you get the same results. Boil the raviolis up until they float and serve them alongside the most delicious sauce Pomodoro and some fresh basil and oregano. Now this is how you make an Italian dinner!
Braised Pork and Fontina Stuffed Ravioli with Sauce Pomodoro
For the Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 thinly shaved garlic cloves
- ½ finely minced yellow onion
- 2 15- ounce cans of Mutti Finely Diced Tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Pasta:
- 1 batch of egg noodle pasta
- ½ cup of braised cooled pork shoulder shredded
- ¼ cup of braised chopped carrots
- ½ cup of shredded fontina cheese
- fresh basil and oregano leaves for garnish
- fresh grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- In a medium size sauce pot over medium heat add in the olive oil and lightly caramelize the garlic and onions, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Next, add in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and stew over low simmering heat for 2 hours.
- Puree the sauce using a hand mixer and finish with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Once your pasta dough is rolled out stuff up with filling, top off with dough and cut to make raviolis. Be sure to wet the dough with water in the exact spot of where the other dough will be laying on top so that they will firmly stick together. The dough will make 36 raviolis.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it. Add in the raviolis and cook them until they float, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Serve the raviolis with the sauce Pomodoro and top off with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.