Let’s begin with a big welcome – Hello Spring! It has been one heck of a winter. Even in sunny California, people needed to be rescued from the mounds of snow.
Snow wasn’t just limited to the higher elevations – the Coastal Mountains experienced snow, too. Those of us who live in the central valley are accustom to seeing the Sierras all snowy and white. It’s not everyday that we look to the west and see a blanket of snow on the mountains around San Francisco. Just as I’m sure the people in Southern California experienced some stunning views of palm trees and snowy mountains. Places like Joshua National Forest was dusted in white. So yeah, we are ready for a change.
They (you know, those people who say things and everyone listens) say the spring bloom nationwide is going to be a sight to behold. This year, we are doing something different for our family vacation. We are going to Yellowstone. Yeah, Yellowstone is not new to us. However; we’ve never spent a spring in the park. Our friends, Joel and Crystal over at Rand Creek Ranch say it’s a sight not meant to be missed.
Today is also National Ravioli Day. Did you know that ‘ravioli’ means “little turnips” in Italian. The Italian rava means turnips, from the Latin rapa. I didn’t know that until now. The earliest written mention of ravioli appears in the personal letters of Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant from Prato, in the 14th century. And here’s another interesting tidbit – in Rome, Renaissance Chef Bartolomeo Scappi served Ravioli with boiled chicken at the Papal Concave of 1549. Canned ravioli were pioneered by the Italian Army during World War I. And here in America, we can thank Chef Boyardee for making canned ravioli a part of our childhood.
One more thing – if the sauce seems familiar, you would be right. The last time I shared this simple yet amazingly delicious Bolognese was for my Rigatoni Bolognese. If there is one thing I’ve learned about a Bolognese Sauce is that it goes with just about anything. I’d even be willing to bet you could make the sauce and use it as a dip for warm breads. Yeah, it’s that good.
One last thing about Ravioli Bolognese – pick your favorite ravioli. It could be made from scratch, or from frozen or the refrigerated section of a well-stocked market. Use Mushroom or cheese or a meat filled if you like. It’s all good. We used Sausage Ravioli because it’s what we had on hand. Enjoy!
1 cup finely diced Baby Carrots
1/2 cup finely diced Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 strips Bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork
24 oz jar Pasta Sauce or home-made Marinara
1/4 cup Red Wine
Italian Seasoning to taste
28 oz favorite Ravioli
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
Finely chop carrots, onion and garlic, Set aside until ready to use.
Dice bacon, scatter in a large skillet and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, set aside. Drain off all but about a tablespoon of bacon drippings.
Add onions and carrots, sauté for about 3 minutes or so, until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Scatter garlic into the skillet, cook about a minute longer.
Crumble ground beef and ground pork into the skillet. Let cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain off excess fat from the skillet.
Add pasta sauce, wine, Italian Season and bacon pieces. Bring sauce to a full boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Allow sauce to thicken.
While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil. Lower Ravioli into the boiling water, cook as directed, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain well.
When starting the Ravioli, add enough heavy cream to the Bolognese Sauce to lighten the color and impart a silky rich flavor. Continue to simmer sauce until Raviolis are ready to serve.
Plate ravioli in individual bowls. Ladle sauce over pasta. Garnish with fresh grated cheese and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever
7 thoughts on “Celebrating Spring and National Ravioli Day”
This is a perfect dish to welcome spring.
Ravioli was invented in Nice!
Good to know.
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It was part of Italy at the time
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Lovely photos and great post. I love a good Bolognese. My mother’s ravioli set a high standard. I prefer homemade but am a mere shadow of the cook that she was.
My hat is off to anyone who can make homemade ravioli – that is a real talent.