February is always a slog for me. I imagine it is for a lot of people. It’s that special time when winter has taken its toll but there is still at least a solid month of it left. And honestly, making it to April is no guarantee. There is still a good chance a soul-crushing blizzard could hit over Easter. So, with the bleak status of my current state of mind firmly established, let me introduce you to the remedy – Short Rib Ravioli with Golden Tomato Sauce. The ravioli brings the comfort while Golden Tomato Sauce provides a burst of sunshine. A vibrant reminder that warmer weather and, yes, even tomato season will come again.Jump to Recipe
I have finally reached my limit. My winter blues are on the verge of turning black. It’s well-documented that I despise winter but I feel it is my duty as a Canadian to endure it with a smile and a beer in hand. And honestly, I feel like I do that very well. I am not short on grit. But every year I reach a point where I can no longer maintain the facade. And I reached that point this week when I slipped on a patch of black ice in front of a group of 8th grade boys. Sure, I don’t give a shit what 14-year-old boys think of me most of time, but I’ll admit that in this moment my ego (and tailbone) were more than a little bruise. And what reduced me to this pathetic state: winter! Winter makes fools of us all.
Think about it. In this country we spend 4 months, waddling around on ice in ginormous coats that makes all look like eggs. I walked by a friend on the street the other day and completely blew her off because I didn’t recognize her. It’s tough to recognize anyone when they’re reduced to a parka with eyes. You can’t go anywhere because the icy wind will take your face off. You can’t plan anything because a blizzard will make it impossible for anyone to attend. You’re reluctant to put any effort into your appearance because, as I stated above, you’ll just wind up looking like a giant egg anyway. Why do any of us live here?
But there is a silver lining to this seasonal suffering, well it’s actually more golden. When spring hits in Canada, it’s like winning a war. The energy of a Canadian city when temperatures reach anything south of 10 C is like spring break on steroids. Patios are packed, everyone is unreasonably jovial and friendly, and the shorts. Shorts become a valid wardrobe item in Canada at the same temperature that puffy jackets become acceptable in Florida. In this country, we spring hard. And the reason we spring so hard is because the winters are god awful. We truly appreciate good weather when we get it.
But, sadly, it’s only February. We still have a lot of
Yes, I like the canned stuff more than I’d care to admit. I don’t let myself have it and as such haven’t indulged in it for a little over a decade, so maybe I’m over it by now. But even if my tastebuds have learned better, I still love the memory of it. So, when I crave ravioli, that’s what I’m craving – familiarity, comfort, and warmth. And although today’s Short Rib Ravioli requires far more effort than opening a can, I think they provide all of that and then some. Plus, they taste WAY better.
Now, if you’re a passionately seasonal eater, you may be raising an eyebrow at this Golden Tomato Sauce. Are tomatoes in season? No. Are the hot house toms equal to in season toms? No. Do they cost WAY too much? Oh my good gosh, yes! But I do believe there are moments in life when you really should shell out a tenner for tomatoes, and any moment in late February is one of them.
We splurge on all sorts of things – shoes, massages, jeans that don’t give us a muffin top. But when it comes to grocery shopping, we all seem to want to appear practical. Well, I’m not practical when it comes to food, I am romantic and I am proud. And sometimes the only retail therapy I really need is a bag of some very expensive
Now, that I’ve convinced you of the fact you need these Short Rib Ravioli in your life, I have to give you the bad news. Well, I don’t consider it bad news, quite the opposite actually, but I’ve come to accept that I am not, erm, normal. Today’s Short Rib Ravioli with Golden Tomato Sauce is not a walk in the park. You have to make your own pasta, braise your own short ribs, and assemble your own ravioli. While none of these things are horrendously difficult on their own, they can make for a long afternoon if taken together. But that’s not to say you can’t do this because you totally can. This is more of a warning for the time-strapped. This is not a recipe you should undertake with any sort of time pressure.
Today’s Short Rib Ravioli is for the hobbyist, the DIYers, the weekend chefs of the world. A chance to do something new and challenge yourself. This is craft time. So, approach this recipe with the same gusto as a toddler attacking finger paints. Even if the ravioli doesn’t look perfect I guarantee it will still taste good. Plus, playing in the kitchen really is just an excuse to drink wine in the middle of the day – embrace it.
So with all the necessary warnings issued and appetites wetted, I will leave you to take or leave these Short Rib Ravioli. I hope you can make time for these pillowy parcels of meat because they really do pick the spirits up.
Short Rib Ravioli with Golden Tomato Sauce
Braised Short Rib Filling
- 905 g (2 lbs) beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 6-8 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
Golden Tomato Sauce
- 4 yellow or orange heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
- 437 g (1 pint) zima tomatoes halved
- 1 head garlic top lopped off
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup basil chiffonade
- 170g (6oz) semolina
- 170g (6oz) 00 flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
Short Rib Ravioli with Golden Tomato Sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 batch braised short ribs see above
- 1 batch pasta dough see above
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- Fresh basil leaves
Braised Short Ribs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Set aside.
- Heat the olive into the bottom of a large braiser or deep, oven-safe skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add the short ribs and brown them on all sides. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion to the skillet along with a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the onions on low until just translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes more.
- Pour the wine into the skillet with the onions and add the Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Take the skillet off of the heat.
- Nestle the ribs into the skillet and add the thyme and bay leaves. Fit a cover on top of the skillet and transfer to the onion. Braise the ribs for 2 hours or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat comes readily off of the bone.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and leave the ribs to cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, shred the meat and mix it back into the onions and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside until you’re ready to stuff the ravioli.
Golden Tomato Sauce
- Arrange the tomatoes, head of garlic and fresh thyme on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the ingredients with the olive oil and sprinkle them with the salt.
- Place the baking sheet in a 350°C and slow roast for 2 hours. I recommend placing the tomatoes in the oven at the same time as the ribs.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let stand until the head of garlic is cool enough to handle. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the head of garlic and place them in a large food processor. Add the remaining contents of the baking sheet to the food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Pour the tomato sauce into a large deep skillet and add the basil. Stir to combine. Set the skillet aside until the ravioli is cooked.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the semolina, 00 flour, and salt. Form a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs, egg yolks and water to the well.
- Whisk to combine the eggs, yolks, and water, slowly pushing more the dry ingredients in the center until a thick dough begins to form. Place the lumpy dough on a well-floured surface and knead it until it comes together and is silky to the touch. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Unwrap the dough and divide into 8-equally-sized pieces. Working a piece at a time, roll each piece out to roughly an inch thick. Using a pasta roller, roll the pieces out into paper-thin sheets. I went to setting #5 on my KitchenAid Pasta Roller. Sprinkle the sheets with additional semolina flour and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the egg and the water. Set aside.
- Place heaping teaspoons of the short rib mixture along one of the long sides of one of the pasta sheets. Allow for at least 1/2 an inch of space on all sides of the short rib mixture. Brush the egg mixture on all sides of the short rib mixture and fold the unadorned half of the pasta sheet over top of the adorned pasta sheet.
- Using your fingers, press to form a seal on all sides of the short rib filling. From here you can either us a pasta wheel or a ravioli stamp to cut out your filled pasta. Toss the finished ravioli in some additional semolina flour and set aside.
- Once all your ravioli is cut, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and add your ravioli. Cook the ravioli for 3 minutes or until al dente.
- When your ravioli is in the water, place the skillet with the sauce over medium heat. Once the sauce is hot, the ravioli should be done. Using a spider or a large slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli from the water to the skillet. Take the skillet off of the heat and toss to coat the ravioli. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of the pasta water.
- Spoon the ravioli onto plates and garnish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately with good wine.