Do you have guests over for dinner and want to surprise them with a fancy dish without too much effort? Or did you just get home tired and wish you could cook from the couch? Either way, I may have just the recipe for you.
It takes about an hour, but trust me: you’ll spend most of it on Netflix! The time you’ll actually spend at the stove is less than 10 minutes.
And at the end, you’ll have a hearty comfort dish dressed with a delicious meat sauce that you can enjoy in your comfort pants watching TV, or in front of your date with a glass of red wine.
Does it show that I like versatile recipes?
Meet ravioli with sausage ragout!
This recipe is similar to my favorite spaghetti sauce, which I wrote about in my article about the best Italian tomato sauces. But instead of using dry pasta, you’re going to use ravioli, which are much faster to cook. And instead of ground beef, you’ll use one Italian sausage for each person at the table.
What I love about this recipe
This recipe is one of my go-to options whenever there’s ravioli in my house. Not only for all the reasons I listed above: these fresh egg pasta dumplings and their ricotta filling seem to be tailor-made to match the delicious flavor and tender texture of the sausage.
Wrapped in a creamy tomato sauce along with spices and sautéing, the ingredients come together to form a dish that can put anyone in a good mood.
What you’ll need
As you could easily guess from such an easy recipe, the ingredient list is also quite simple. Here’s everything you need:
- Italian sausages;
- Tomato sauce;
- One onion, one carrot, and two stalks of celery, to make the sauté;
- red wine;
- salt and ground black pepper;
- olive oil;
- basil leaves;
You can make the ravioli from scratch, if you want. But in the spirit of slacking, you can also buy them from a trusted pasta shop or grocery store. In the second case, just make sure they’re freshly made, as they are better than those sold in packages.
You can also make the sauce spicier by adding some red chili pepper flakes at the end of the method that you’ll see below. But although I love spicy dishes, this recipe doesn’t need them to be awesome.
Start by preparing the ingredients.
Step 1: dice the vegetables as finely as possible
Step 2: Remove the skin from the sausages and coarsely chop them into small pieces.
Now, it’s time to sauté.
Step 3: Olia a large saucepan and sauté the celery and carrot for a couple of minutes on low heat.
Step 4: Add the sausages, and after about half a minute add the onions as well.
This is to prevent the onions from sautéing too much, as they tend to burn much sooner than the other ingredients.
Step 5: When the sausages begin to brown, add the red wine to deglaze. This will balance their flavor and give your sauce a better texture. Let the wine evaporate completely while stirring well.
Step 6: When it is the wine has evaporated, turn the stove on low heat, add the tomato sauce along with a ladle of water, give it a stir, and cover the saucepan with a lid.
Now, you can safely sit back and watch an episode of your favorite series. I usually do this from my phone in the kitchen, because I like to keep an eye on the pan in case the sauce starts to stick. But if you’ve added enough water and turned the heat down to low, and you come back every so often to check the sauce and stir it, you might as well go curl up on the couch.
Step 7: After about 40 to 45 minutes, fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, give the sauce a stir and add the salt and spices.
Step 8: When the water boils, salt it and add the ravioli.
Step 9: Add the milk to the sauce and stir again. This will help counterbalance the acidity of the tomato and make it more full-bodied.
Step 10: After about 5 minutes, the ravioli should float on the surface of the water. This means they are ready.
Step 11: Drain the ravioli, toss with the sauce, get the next episode started, and enjoy along with a full-bodied red wine or golden lager beer.
Expert Tips for Ravioli with Sausage Ragout Recipe
Here are some extra tips to take your ravioli with sausage ragout experience from amazing to heavenly. Trust me, with these tidbits, you’ll impress not just yourself but anyone you’re dining with—whether that’s your TV or a real-live human!
Make Your Own Tomato Sauce
Sure, you can use store-bought tomato sauce, but why not upgrade your dish with a homemade version? Just sauté some garlic, add crushed tomatoes, and season with salt, pepper, and herbs like basil or oregano. Let it simmer while you Netflix binge, and voila! You’ve just taken your dish up a notch.
Choice of Sausage
While the recipe calls for Italian sausages, you can totally switch things up with a spicy or sweet sausage variety. If you’re a vegetarian, there are plant-based sausages that are pretty good, too. But whatever you choose, make sure it complements your tomato sauce!
While a full-bodied red wine is the classic choice for this dish, don’t feel limited. A nice white wine can be a refreshing contrast to the hearty sausage ragout. If you’re more into beers, an amber ale or stout can also pair wonderfully with the flavors here.
The Perfect Sauté
For a restaurant-quality sauté, you can caramelize the onions separately in a little butter and then add them to the sauce. It adds an extra layer of flavor that you won’t get from just tossing everything into the pan.
Fresh vs Dried Herbs
If you’re using fresh basil leaves, add them at the end for a burst of color and freshness. Dried herbs can go in with your tomato sauce to let the flavors meld as it simmers.
The Cheese Factor
Consider adding some freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of ricotta on top of your ravioli. It adds another layer of creamy, cheesy goodness that makes the dish feel more luxurious.
Opt for Heavy Cream
For a more indulgent experience, swap the milk in the sauce with heavy cream. But be cautious with this, as it can quickly turn your dish into a rich, hearty feast fit for a king (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
The Couch Potato Hack
If you’re really on lazy mode, use a slow cooker to make the sausage ragout. Dump all the ingredients and let it cook on low for 4-5 hours. Just make sure to give it a good stir when you finally roll off the couch.
What To Serve With Ravioli with Sausage Ragout
Alright, you’ve mastered the art of the easy yet indulgent ravioli with sausage ragout. But what’s next? What do you pair with this stunner of a dish to elevate your meal from a casual dinner to a full-on dining experience? Well, don’t fret, because I’ve got you covered!
Salad On The Side
A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette is a classic choice, giving you a refreshing break from the richness of the ravioli. Toss some arugula, cherry tomatoes, and maybe a little shaved Parmesan. If you’re looking to jazz it up, why not throw in some toasted pine nuts?
Bread Is Never A Bad Idea
A basket of warm, crusty bread is ideal for sopping up any extra sauce. For bonus points, serve it with a side of olive oil infused with herbs like rosemary or garlic. In the spirit of minimal effort, grab a pre-made loaf from the bakery and just warm it in the oven.
If you want to make sure you get your five-a-day, grill some zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus. The smoky, charred flavors will contrast beautifully with the creamy, meaty ravioli dish. Just a quick grill, a dash of salt, and you’re golden.
A Little Something Sweet
You’re already watching Netflix, so let’s keep dessert simple. A scoop of gelato or a piece of tiramisu would round out this Italian feast nicely. But hey, if you’ve got a bag of store-bought cookies, no judgment here!
The Right Drinks
As mentioned before, a full-bodied red wine is always a great match, but have you considered a bubbly Prosecco? It’s light and can refresh your palate between bites. If you’re in a beer mood, try a craft IPA or a crisp Pilsner to balance out the richness of the dish.
A Cheese Platter For Kicks
If you’re really feeling fancy (or just love cheese as much as I do), a small cheese platter can be a great appetizer or even a palate-cleansing follow-up. Choose a mix of soft and hard cheeses, add some olives and maybe a handful of grapes, and there you go!
Ravioli with Sausage Ragout FAQs
As this recipe gains popularity, several pertinent questions have been raised by enthusiastic home cooks. The following FAQs aim to address these queries in a comprehensive and clear manner.
Q: Is Utilizing Store-Bought Ravioli Acceptable?
A: Certainly. The goal of this recipe is to provide a high-quality dish with minimal effort. If you opt for store-bought ravioli, merely ensure they are of good quality to maintain the integrity of the dish.
Q: Is Italian Sausage an Irreplaceable Component?
A: While Italian sausage complements the flavors of this dish exquisitely, it is not obligatory. Alternative protein options such as ground turkey or plant-based substitutes are acceptable adjustments.
Q: Can the Sauce Be Prepared Ahead of Time?
A: Absolutely. Preparing the sauce in advance can, in fact, enhance the flavors as they meld together over time. Simply reheat the sauce before serving, taking care to stir it thoroughly.
Q: Is Freezing an Option for Meal Preparation?
A: Yes, both the sauce and the ravioli can be frozen without diminishing their quality. It is recommended to store them separately and to reheat carefully to preserve texture and flavor.
Q: Are There Dairy-Free Alternatives?
A: Certainly, non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or coconut milk can be utilized without significantly affecting the sauce’s quality. These substitutions can introduce unique flavors to the dish.
Q: Is This Recipe Suitable for Children?
A: This dish is generally well-received by a younger audience. However, if you are preparing this meal for children, you may wish to omit the red wine or substitute it with a suitable non-alcoholic liquid.
Q: What Alternatives Are There for Red Wine?
A: If you prefer not to cook with red wine, beef or vegetable broth can serve as an effective alternative without compromising the depth of flavor.
Q: Is Omitting Vegetables Detrimental to the Dish?
A: While the vegetables contribute to the richness of the sauce, their absence will not ruin the dish. If you lack certain ingredients, consider it an opportunity for culinary creativity.
I’m sure this recipe will revolutionize your midweek dinners. But as I said before, it’s so good that you can use it for any occasion. Whether it’s a solo dinner on a couch, a party with friends, or your next Sunday lunch, these ravioli with sausage ragout will be perfect.
If you try them, let me know what you think. I’m especially curious about your favorite beer and wine pairings.
In the meantime, buon appetito!Print