Deconstructed Meat Sauce Ravioli

Are you ready to do something fancy? Cause we’re gonna do something fancy. Like, this is the sort of thing that will get you laid if you play your cards right. We’re gonna make meat sauce, strain it and separate the solids from the sauce, mix those solids with cheese, then use that to fill ravioli that’ll get topped with the silky smooth strained sauce. You following me? You’ll be amazed at how meaty the smooth strained sauce tastes, and you’ll love the meaty-cheesy ravioli filling.This is the sort of thing I could eat way more of than necessary, so be careful!

“But Paul, why on earth would you go through all that work?” Because I can. Because we live in a world that allows me to. I choose to make these ravioli. I choose to make these ravioli, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. And I like to do fancy things that are rooted in simplicity.

– 2 T olive oil
– 1/3 lb ground beef (I got ground brisket from my local butcher and it was AMAZING)
– 1/3 lb spicy italian sausage
– 5 cloves garlic, smashed
– 3/4 c sweet onion, diced
– 1/3 c red bell pepper, diced
– 1/3 c green pepper, diced
– 1 c crimini mushroom, diced (about 6 or so)
– 1 c red wine
– 2 T fresh oregano
– 1/4 c fresh basil, sliced in a chiffonade
– 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

– 8 oz. ricotta (I used goat ricotta; highly recommended if you can find it, otherwise regular is fine)
– 8 oz. burrata
– 1/2 c parmesan, grated

– Pack of 50 wonton wrappers
– 1 egg beaten with 1 T water

– Additional parmesan for garnish
– Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

– Heat your dutch oven to med-high.
– Brown the meat with olive oil.
– Dump the fat that’s cooked off the meat (I know, but it’ll make your sauce greasy; you can save it if you want and like, toast bread or cook quesadillas in it if you want.).
– Add your vegetables to the pot, and cook down until almost paste-like.

The beginnings of sauce.
The beginnings of sauce.
Vegetables in the pot.
Vegetables in the pot.
This is what I mean by
This is what I mean by “paste.”

– Add the wine and deglaze the pan (scrape the burnt bits off the bottom and let them meld into the sauce).
– Add the tomatoes and herbs (and some red chili flakes if you want).

Take this basil by either end, and roll it into a weird green cigar (not that kind of weird green cigar), then make thin slices to do a
Take this basil by either end, and roll it into a weird green cigar (not that kind of weird green cigar), then make thin slices to do a “chiffonade.”
Chiffonade complete.
Chiffonade complete.

– Bring to a boil, then lower to med-low, and let simmer for about 2 hours.

I have yet to boil.
I have yet to boil.
I'M BOILING!
I’M BOILING!

– Strain the sauce using cheesecloth. Use a spatula or the back of a ladle to press juice out of the bits. You should have a silky smooth runoff. Don’t discard anything! Set the smooth strained sauce aside.
– Take the solids from the sauce and mix well with the cheeses.
– Get a pot of salted water boiling for your pasta.
– Lay out your wonton wrappers (yeah, we’re cheating a bit here, cause I don’t have a pasta roller).
– Put about 1.5-2 T of filling on each wrapper, and push down into an even disc with enough space around the edges to seal the ravioli.

Filling ravioli.
Filling ravioli.

– Brush the edges with egg wash.
– Put another wonton wrapper on top, squeeze out any extra air, and then seal the edges.

Sealing ravioli.
Sealing ravioli.

– Repeat until all your wontons are ready.
– Drop the ravioli in a few at a time (don’t want to overcrowd the pot), and cook for about 3 minutes.
– Reheat your strained sauce now if you need to.
– Serve the ravioli with the sauce and some fresh parmesan on top.

There are too many ravioli on this plate to be as fancy as I wanted, but I got hungry...
There are too many ravioli on this plate to be as fancy as I wanted, but I got hungry…

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