Authentic Ravioli and Tomato Sauce Recipe

Heirloom Eats

heir·loom (noun): a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations

From furniture and faith to collectibles and character traits, there are a lot of things that get passed down over the course of a family’s history, and recipes are no exception. But a recipe nurtured by generations of love and care is so much more than the food it creates. It’s also a reminder of the laughter and light that can happen when a family comes together. 

Photography by Rich Smith

Ravioli and Tomato Sauce Recipe

Carla Donina with family | Riverview

 

Donina family spending time together

Standing (L to R): Jonathan Swader, Bobby Donina, Marco Wade, and Michelle Donina.  Seated (L to R): Julia Harrison, Carla Donina, Jerry Mitchell, Stella Donina, Joe Donina, and Rob Donina

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“It has been 100 years since my grandparents, Anthony and Emelia, left Italy and started new lives in America. As their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we have enriched our family with spouses and children of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Our diversity enhances the rich Italian cooking history and the recipes they have handed down through the generations. This ravioli dish is our annual traditional Christmas dinner.” – Carla Donina

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Ingredients

For the dough:
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • All-purpose flour, as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
For the cheese filling:
  • 3 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the meat filling:
  • 4 lbs. ground meat (beef, pork, veal)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ – 1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
For the sauce:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs. bone-in pork roast, cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 3 (28 oz.) cans tomato purée
  • 2 ½ (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 30 oz. water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

 

Directions

For the dough: 

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, beat eggs, salt, and water. Gradually add flour until mixture forms a ball. Knead dough on a floured surface, gradually adding more flour as needed so that the dough is still soft but not sticky. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rest for at least 1 hour. When dough has rested, cut off a portion while leaving the remaining amount covered. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine at least two times at the widest setting. Reduce setting and process the dough two more times, and then repeat the step. The dough should be about 1/8-inch thick, 12-18 inches long, and 3-4 inches wide. Keep dough dusted with flour as you work. Lightly dust a work surface and lay out pasta. On half of the sheet, drop tablespoons of your favorite filling about 2 inches apart. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling. With your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife or ravioli cutter to cut out pillowed squares, and crimp the edges of each ravioli to seal. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour and arrange ravioli in a single layer. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook batches of the ravioli until they float to the top (about 4 minutes) and remove with a slotted spoon. 

For the cheese filling:

To make cheese filling, simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the meat filling:

Start by browning meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add in spinach, parsley, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool. Add in cheese, nutmeg, and eggs. If filling is loose, add breadcrumbs as needed.

For the sauce:

In a large pot or saucepan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add in the pork roast pieces and garlic and reduce heat to medium low, cooking until the pork is brown on all sides. Add basil and increase to medium-high heat. Add red wine and allow it to cook off. Add in the tomato purée, tomato paste, and water and stir vigorously. Bring to a boil uncovered, stirred to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring regularly. Once done, add salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.

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Donina Family Ravioli

Authentic Ravioli and Tomato Sauce

Carla Donina
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 180 ravioli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with dough hook
  • Pasta machine

Ingredients
  

For the dough:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • All-purpose flour, as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

For the cheese filling:

  • 3 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the meat filling:

  • 4 lbs. ground meat (beef, pork, veal)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾-1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs. bone-in pork roast, cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • cup red wine
  • 3 (28 oz.) cans tomato purée
  • 2 ½ (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 30 oz. water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Instructions
 

For the dough:

  • Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, beat eggs, salt, and water. Gradually add flour until mixture forms a ball.
  • Knead dough on a floured surface, gradually adding more flour as needed so that the dough is still soft but not sticky.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rest for at least 1 hour. When dough has rested, cut off a portion while leaving the remaining amount covered.
  • Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine at least two times at the widest setting. Reduce setting and process the dough two more times, and then repeat the step. The dough should be about 1/8-inch thick, 12-18 inches long, and 3-4 inches wide. Keep dough dusted with flour as you work.
  • Lightly dust a work surface and lay out pasta. On half of the sheet, drop tablespoons of your favorite filling about 2 inches apart. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling.
  • With your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife or ravioli cutter to cut out pillowed squares, and crimp the edges of each ravioli to seal. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour and arrange ravioli in a single layer.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and filling. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook batches of the ravioli until they float to the top (about 4 minutes) and remove with a slotted spoon. 

For the cheese filling:

  • To make cheese filling, simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the meat filling:

  • Start by browning meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add in onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add in spinach, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add in cheese, nutmeg, and eggs.
  • If filling is loose, add breadcrumbs as needed.

For the sauce:

  • In a large pot or saucepan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add in the pork roast pieces and garlic and reduce heat to medium low, cooking until the pork is brown on all sides.
  • Add basil and increase to medium-high heat. Add red wine and allow it to cook off.
  • Add in the tomato purée, tomato paste, and water and stir vigorously. Bring to a boil uncovered, stirring to prevent burning.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring regularly.
  • Once done, add salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.
Keyword cheese ravioli, from scratch, homemade, meat ravioli, meat sauce, pasta sauce, ravioli, ricotta, tomato sauce
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