Pulled pork is something that I make me and Hungry Hubby for a real treat – it’s rib-sticking, soul-warming comfort food and when we do indulge, we devour it with joy in our hearts. It’s the sort of meal that makes you smile as you eat and yes, you will need to wipe your chops like a messy toddler as you eat so I suggest anyone in the early days of a new romantic relationship does not eat this sat opposite their beloved! Mostly, I make these soft Italian Herbs & Cheese Subway Rolls when I make pulled pork but lately, I’ve had a real craving for fresh pasta and so these Pulled Pork Ravioli were born.
The pulled pork I make is very easy to make but it does need to stay overnight in the fridge rubbed in a dry brine before cooking slowly in the oven (or 7 hours in a slow cooker – it is sublime cooked this way as it is butter soft and perfect for sandwiches as well as these ravioli). I use my Instant Pot slow cooker function these days since I’ve been converted to the magical ways of the Pot! It freezes brilliantly but I urge you to take the time to whip up a batch of fresh pasta and try these ravioli. The rub and sauce ingredients in the pork pack a powerful flavour punch so you need do nothing more than chop it finely before filling the pasta.
I make a very, very simple tomato sauce to serve these with as you want the meat to star here. If it were summer, I would make the super light and fresh tomato sauce from my Roasted Red Pepper Ravioli instead. It goes against the grain to start any sort of sauce without cooking an onion in some oil with plenty of garlic but instead, this sauce is flavoured with Italian Seasoning to mirror the meat and a good dollop of pesto (which I freeze in 1 tbsp sized portions and use straight from the freezer).
I finish the dish with a little dried oregano and some red chilli flakes to reflect the seasoning in the dry rub and sauce with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan at the table too. Often, I make a huge batch of pasta and pull out the kitchen table so I can be a ravioli making machine for the afternoon. I then freeze them flat in plastic food bags and they only take a couple of extra minutes to cook straight from frozen which is still less time than it takes for the sauce to be ready so after all that initial waiting and effort of fresh pasta making, you will be rewarded with plenty of freezer meals when you are cold and shattered after work. A weekend cooking session becomes a weeknight saviour!
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 200 g pasta flour tipo 00
- Salt and pepper
- Approx 200g pulled pork a scant cup's worth should do
- 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning recipe also on the blog
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp pesto
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- Chilli flakes and dried oregano to garnish
Start by making the pasta. I do this very simply by pulsing the flour, eggs, oil and a little seasoning in the food processor until it comes together into a crumbly looking dough. Bring together by hand and wrap in cling film, chilling until needed - at least one hour up to 2 days.
When ready to assemble, work with half the pasta at a time and rollout with a pasta machine until very thin indeed - remember it doubles in thickness when cooked so be brave and take it as thin as you dare! I go to setting 6 or 7 on my machine.
Flour a worktop top well and lay out one strip of your pasta.
Chop your pulled pork with a very sharp knife until it is almost paste like (I would not do this in a food processor, you want some texture to remain). Dollop out generous tsp of the pork onto the pasta you have laid out, leaving about 1.5 inches between spoonfuls - you should get two rows.
Brush lightly with water all around the pork and lay over the second long strip of pasta, expelling out all the air you can with your hands, pressing firmly to seal. Using the side of your hand/little finger is a good way to do this.
Cut down the length of the ravioli and in between them with a pasta cutter (or a knife if you don't have one). Make sure they aren't sticking to the work top and set aside whilst you start the sauce.
In a medium saucepan, add tomatoes, half a can of water, the Italian Seasoning, vinegar and pesto then stir very well. Allow to simmer whilst you bring a large pan of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Lower the ravioli into the boiling water carefully (I use a large flat perforated spoon) and cook until they rise to the surface and float - this is usually about 4 minutes.
When ready, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, use the slotted spoon or a colander to drain the ravioli and gently transfer to the sauce before serving with a sprinkle of dried oregano, dried chilli and a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.
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