The more complex the pasta….the simpler the sauce!
So let's talk about ravioli, tortelli, agnolotti, cappelletti and all of their wonderful brothers, sisters and cousins! Most stuffed pasta shapes have bags of flavour in their fillings. Think about the fillings you’re likely to find - things like heady truffle, sweet pumpkin, rich spinach and ricotta to name just a few. They not only have more then enough flavour on their own to not require a strong flavoured sauce to go with them, but the sauce may well end up clashing with or drowning the flavour inside your pasta. For these reasons we advise you to steer clear of dousing your tortellinis in pesto! Keep it simple and let the pasta do the talking.
See the video: HERE
The best partners for your fancy filled pastas are super simple. Butter or good olive oil with a few herbs will normally do nicely. You can almost think of it more as a dressing rather than a sauce. If in doubt, go for a sage butter! Below we’ve got an Instagram video which will walk you through making one of these (although in this case we used thyme instead of sage). It’s child’s play, and something that’s so fast to put together that you can make your butter sauce while the pasta is cooking.
For the video guide CLICK HERE
You just need:
- A knob of butter per person (roughly a large tablespoon), or more if you’re feeling indulgent
- Around three sage leaves per person (or equivalent of other woody herbs like thyme or rosemary)
- Grated Parmesan
1 Add your butter and your sage to a wide pan on a medium/high heat. Swirl the butter around with the herb a little as it melts. Let the butter fry and the herb infuse its flavour until the butter starts to go golden brown - this will give a nice nutty flavour!
2 At this point, add a small ladle of the water in which you’re cooking your pasta (the salt and starch from this will make your sauce creamy and seasoned). Swirl and simmer a little more until it’s a thickish consistency.
3 Before you drain your pasta, reserve a little more of the pasta cooking water in case you need a touch more. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce and toss/mix well in the pan. You can now mix in a little grated Parmesan for extra creaminess and flavour, although this is optional. If the sauce has gone too dry, add a little more pasta water to make it loose and creamy. Serve!
You can try variations on this - leave out the herbs completely and just melt the butter with lots of black pepper and melt in a little Parmesan. Or leave out the woody herbs and just add a little fresh parsley to your melted butter just before the pasta goes in. You can play around with this general idea of flavouring butter/oil for your stuffed pasta!