Here is a basic cheese agnolotti or ravioli with tomato sauce. Really basic recipe for pasta, but like everything else, if you start with a good ingredients and execute correctly, then your end product is going to reflect that process. There’s really not too much to say about this recipe, it is really straight forward and it is the ultimate comfort food. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Cheese filling

1 lb of ricotta

2 oz of parmesan

2 oz of asiago or trugalo

salt and pepper

4 cups of fresh heirloom tomatoes or 2 boxes diced tomatoes

1 onion chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

2 tsp of chili flakes

2 ½ cups of water

5 tbsp of olive oil

1/4 cup of basil leaves

salt and pepper   

(touch of cream if desired)

For the Cheese Filling,

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place into a plastic pastry bag.

For the Basic Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt. With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough. Then use your hands to form the dough. Add more flour if the dough is wet. Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes.

Take your basic pasta and cut in half. Leave one half covered while you work with the other half. Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment). Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice. Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends.  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  Place agnolotti on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper dusted heavily with semolina flour.

For the Tomato sauce

The better the tomatoes the better the sauce! This is my basic tomato sauce but I have plenty of variations on this website. In a sauce pot add 3 tbsp of olive oil with onion, chili flakes, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes. Add the water and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid. Cook for about 30-45 minutes and then add basil leaves. Then with a hand blender or vita mix puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper if needed. I would add a touch of cream if desired. Set aside and keep warm.

To finish,

Add two cups of tomato sauce to a saute pan. Place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. Strain off and place in the saute pan with tomato sauce. Cook for a minute, season with salt and pepper if need be. Then place 6 or 7 agnolotti in a bowl with tomato sauce. Grate fresh parmesan over the top and drizzle with olive oil if desired. Serve and enjoy!

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