When we were on the Isle of Capri in Italy a few years ago, we had a ravioli dish that consisted of pillow-soft ravioli dressed with a simple tomato sauce. Recently we found high quality pre-made ravioli at our local Central Market, and we served these as a week-night meal with a quick tomato sauce. Eventually, we plan on making homemade ravioli, but in the mean time, this dish was delicious.
Our quick tomato sauce starts with a generous amount of high quality olive oil and a chopped medium-sized onion, sauteed over medium heat for about 8 minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
We’re big fans of garlic, so we added a few cloves of pressed garlic to the sauce.
After adding the garlic to the onions, saute for another minute, then add a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, a bay leaf, and stir. The sauce should cook over low heat for at least 20 minutes.
For some spice, we add crushed red pepper flakes. Add just a few drops of red wine vinegar to brighten up the taste of the sauce, then adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly-ground pepper. The simple tomato sauce is ready. Told you it was simple. And yummy.
Wheat ravioli from Central Market. Eventually we plan on making these on a weekend and freezing them for future use.
Add the ravioli to a pan of salted boiling water. It’s important to cook them gently, because they are very delicate and will break apart and spew ricotta into the boiling water. While this won’t impact the flavor of the final dish, it can be a pretty defeating experience.
The final dish – ravioli served in a low bowl with a nice spoonful of simple tomato sauce on top. We still have an abundance of beautiful fresh basil in our garden, and so we topped the dish with some basil cut into thin strips (“chiffonade”). To be honest, no pasta dish is ever as good when served outside of Italy – where everything is just a little bit better – but this dish was a worthy substitute. At least until we find ourselves back on Capri.