The Bartolini Girls made 2 versions of filling for their pasta. One, used in cappelletti, was served in soup while the other was for ravioli and dressed in sauce. A couple of years ago, I decided to try my hand at making sausage ravioli, using our family sausage recipe. The results were good enough to serve Zia, gain her approval, and now the Bartolini Clan has 3 ravioli fillings made with meat. Today I’m going to share the “saucy” filling; we’ll get to the “soupy” and sausage fillings in later posts.
I have 2 versions of Mom’s recipe. The original, which is little more than a few notes, and the one that’s part of a recipe book she gave to me after I moved to Chicago. Both are pictured below and, for obvious reasons, I follow the more complete version of the two. This is the same recipe that Zia follows when we have Ravioli Day. Similar to Sausage Day, once or twice a year we’ll devote a day to making ravioli so that she’ll have plenty for her family when they visit. We work well together as a team and that night’s dinner is always a good one. Never one to wait for dinner, however, Max has been known to steal a few errant ravioli that may have wandered too close to the pasta board’s edge. On one memorable Ravioli Day, he managed to inhale 35 of the pasta pillows. That was about 10% of that afternoon’s production and, not so coincidentally, the last ravioli that Max has enjoyed, to date.
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When you look at the recipe, you’ll note that in the original version, Mom used nutmeg but cloves is used in the version she gave me. I’ve no idea why or when she modified the recipe, only that she gave me the book in the early ’80’s. As is the case with any of our ravioli fillings, the meat is cooked before being ground in a meat grinder. I once tried using a food processor but did not like the results at all. The filling became a thick purée without any real texture, and I definitely prefer some texture. The recipe, also, calls for ground pork and veal but if Mom couldn’t find veal, she often substituted chicken or turkey. Living here, I’ve no problem finding any of the ingredients but it’s good to know that there are alternatives should you run into problems or be averse to using veal. The rest of the recipe is easy enough. The “fun” part will come when we make the ravioli and you can see how we do that HERE.
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Filling Recipe for Ravioli dei Bartolini
Yield: Enough filling to be used with 8 eggs of pasta dough. Recipe found here.
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground veal (chicken or turkey may be substituted)
- 2 – 3 tbsp butter
- 1 pkg (10 oz) chopped spinach (cooked and well-drained)
- 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
- 1 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese – your choice
- 2 or 3 eggs slightly beaten
- dash of cloves (optional)
- Sauté meat in butter. Season lightly with salt.
- Use meat grinder to process the meats. Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until well-combined.
- Cover the filling and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Once the filling has rested, you can begin making your ravioli.
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Pictured above is ravioli filling pre-formed into “balls.” Sometimes, while the pasta dough rests, Zia & I will use the time to create some, giving us a jump on the day’s production.
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