"Open" ravioli are simply tubes or pieces of pasta tossed with ravioli filling used as sauce. The highly unusual blend of sauce ingredients in Francine Segan's version comes from a traditional pasta from Bergamo, in Lombardy. Between the assortment of fresh and cured meats, butter, and cheese, this sauce from Pasta Modern befits a city so close to the Italian Alps. Segan balances the meat with an abundance of fruit and spices—there are pears and raisins as well as cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and parsley intertwined in the calamari-shaped pasta. Each bite is a little different, with meat and fruit flitting in and out of the holes in the pasta.
Why I picked this recipe: Besides the fact that I had never made "open" ravioli before, the mincemeat-like blend of meats and fruit seemed like a perfect fall meal.
What worked: The sweet and savory balance of this dish was surprisingly in tune—the best bites are those that include each type of meat with a big slice of pear.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: You could certainly play with the combination of meats used here, but I'd suggest making the dish as written first.
Reprinted with permission from Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy by Francine Segan. Copyright 2013. Published by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces (60g) pancetta or bacon, diced
- 1 sweet sausage
- 4 ounces (115 g) roast beef, thinly sliced then cut into strips
- 1 large pear, thinly sliced with peel left on
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 3 to 4 small fresh sage leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound (455 g) calamarata or other tube pasta, preferably Garofalo
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Grana padano or other aged cheese
- Ground cinnamon
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- Minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 amaretti cookies, crushed, optional
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from the casing and crumble it into the pan; cook until browned. Add the beef, pear, raisins, garlic and sage. Cook the mixture until the pears are soft.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until it is almost al dente. Drain and toss into the sauce along with a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Stir well and cook, adding more cooking liquid, if needed, until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the zest and season with grated cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, and parsley to taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve the pasta topped with a sprinkling of amaretti crumbs.