Okay, so I would like to clear up something right away. When I posted on my Facebook page that I was making this particular recipe for dinner, there was a fair amount of, shall I say ALARM, about the title of the recipe. Some people were concerned for my safety. Others were just discombobulated in general about what on earth was going on in my kitchen. So just let me state clearly and for the record: it is the RAVIOLI that is naked. Not the cook. The cook remained fully clothed at all time, as you can see from the photograph below.
Now that we can all breathe a deep sigh of relief, let me tell you what is going on here.
Naked ravioli basically means that you are getting the filling of the ravioli – in this case a scrumptious mixture of veal, parmesan cheese, herbs and some other things – OUTSIDE of the pasta. So the ravioli filling is, well, naked. I toss some bow-tie pasta into this dish so you still get the happiness of the pasta part, it’s just not wrapped around the filling. Making the filling naked. Are you getting the drift here?
So now that we all understand each other, here’s what happens. You mix up some ground veal, chopped onion, a beaten egg, some grated parmesan, a little chopped fresh parsley and some salt and pepper, and roll them into a whole batch of little tiny meatballs – about 1/2 inch inch in diameter, give or take. Drop them in some salted boiling water, and at the same time melt about a half a stick of butter with some fresh sage leaves until the butter is melted and golden brown.
When the meatballs are done, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and cook up a batch of bow-tie pasta in that same water. Save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and when the pasta is done, toss everything together in one bowl – pasta, meatballs, butter mixture, some of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce – and add in some peas and a little more parmesan cheese. And there you have it – all the makings of ravioli, but WAY easier than making it from scratch and with the filling on the outside rather than being contained in the pasta. Or in other words…naked.
I think I have now used the word “naked” on my blog more times than I ever have before, or ever will again. I’m hoping and wondering if this might actually increase my blog traffic.
One way or the other, give this fun dish a try!
- 1 pound ground veal (you can also use ground pork or beef or any combo thereof!)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 pound bow-tie pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Salt and pepper
- Extra grated parmesan for garnish
- Combine meat, egg, cheese, parsley and onion. Roll into balls about ½ inch in diameter and pop in the fridge until ready to use.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a tablespoon of salt. Cook meatballs in boiling water for 5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon. Put in a bowl and cover to keep warm. Cook pasta in the same water until done, adding the peas during the last minute of cooking. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain.
- Meanwhile, cook butter and sage leaves together in small pot until butter is light brown, about 5 minutes. Toss pasta with butter mixture, reserved meatballs and enough pasta water to make a light sauce. Salt and peper to taste. Top with grated parsmesan and serve.