Ravioli and Homemade Bolognese

I often crave sugar. I sometimes crave pizza… or peanut butter… or ice cream. And every once in a while, I crave a big ole glass of a good red wine. It happened late last week, and I knew right away that Friday night dinner would have to be something wine-friendly.

In my opinion, there are two meals that really take a glass of red to the next level: a perfectly cooked (aka bloody) nice cut of steak… or Italian food.

Since we eat too much steak around here (sorry Nick, there is a such thing), I decided on the latter. Though I had some leftover homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer, Nick specifically requested ravioli and meat sauce, and I was happy to oblige.

Once again, I went to my shelf of cookbooks, and found this recipe in an Ina Garten book. Nothing Ina Garten makes EVER looks bad, so I knew as long as I managed to follow directions correctly, this would be a winner.

Ravioli and Homemade Bolognese

(adapted from Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground meat (I used turkey, but beef is traditional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine, divided
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb frozen raviolis
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried– I used half of each)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the meat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, and cook 5-7 minutes until the meat is almost cooked through.

Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.

Pour 1 cup of the wine into the pan and stir to scrape up any browned bits.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the raviolis according to package directions. While the raviolis are cooking, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream and remaining wine to the pan. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

When the raviolis are cooked and drained, return them to the pot and add the sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Toss everything together.

Serve hot with parmesan on the side.

We ate the pasta with one of our own wines! It’s a pinot noir that Nick infused with blackberries and cracked black peppercorns.

The wine was good. You can definitely smell the pepper and taste a hint of blackberry. The wine was a little young and light for my taste though… I think it needs some aging! It’s fun seeing how wine changes over even a few months. It definitely fulfilled my craving for red wine and Italian comfort food, though!

The sauce was awesome. Homemade sauce is ALWAYS better than store-bought! And even thought I tried to lighten it up a bit with ground turkey, I don’t think it took anything away from it… I wouldn’t have even known it was turkey if I hadn’t made it! Definitely a keeper!

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