Last week I held a great pasta class here in Loveland, CO and we (my fabulous new friend and videographer, Richard Ricchuiti of ZebraJellyfish photography) shot some video, which was pretty fun. I've never been on camera before so this was new to me. In the video below, I was "talking sauce", specifically Marcella Hazan's "famous three ingredient, 45 minute tomato sauce" - One 28 oz. can of San Marzo tomatoes, one medium onion peeled and halved, and 5 TBS. of butter. That's it! Put it in the saucepan, let it come to a gentle simmer, let that onion just bath in those luscious tomatoes and the butter provide the unctuousness that only butter can, and then take it off the heat 45 minutes later. People love this recipe because, well, who wouldn't? It couldn't be any easier!

Heather Tomasini of www.autentikafoodtravel.com talks simple sauce at a cooking class in Loveland Colorado

I served the sauce over a wonderful arugula pasta that we also made in class, the recipe was generously provided to me by my wonderful cousin, Peitor Angell, Italian food aficionado and amazing music producer in L.A.

We then moved on to making one of my favorite dishes, ravioli stuffed with roasted beets, fresh ricotta and goat cheeses topped with browned butter sage sauce.  It is beyond delicious and what I love about this recipe is that people who swear they hate beets, (including one of my class attendees ) absolutely LOVE this recipe. 

Try it at home and experience exactly what I mean. You won't be sorry!  

Fresh egg pasta - Pasta alla'uovo
Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temp

Filling: 
4 medium red beets (about 14 ounces) (*you may roast your own or purchase them roasted)
1/4 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh soft, goat chevre
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
1 pound fresh egg pasta
5 TBS butter
10 small fresh sage leaves (dried will not work here at all)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: Chopped, toasted, skinned hazelnuts make a wonderful accompaniment to this dish when tossed over the top for just a little crunch.

Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the well and using a fork, mix the flour and eggs together until the dough is soft and begins to stick together, about 3 minutes.

You're slowing incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Watch your walls, as they'll begin to thin out and you could have some runaway egg! Not to worry though, just round it up and get it back into the center and keep working the dough until it's all incorporated.

You're slowing incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Watch your walls, as they'll begin to thin out and you could have some runaway egg! Not to worry though, just round it up and get it back into the center and keep working the dough until it's all incorporated.

Once the dough forms a mass, transfer it to the lightly floured clean surface and knead until satiny and resilient, 10-15 minutes. 

 You can see here, I am pushing down and away from myself with the heel of my hand. Each time, then folding the dough over itself and re-kneading. 

You can see here, I am pushing down and away from myself with the heel of my hand. Each time, then folding the dough over itself and re-kneading. 

 See the dough is becoming smoother...

See the dough is becoming smoother...

Once smooth, it's ready to rest, covered with a lightly dampened cloth or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap if you live in a dry climate like I do here in Colorado. 

 Smooth as a baby's bottom and ready to rest for 30 minutes to one hour.

Smooth as a baby's bottom and ready to rest for 30 minutes to one hour.

Now to make the filling. Roast off  4 medium beets that have been tossed with some garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

Roast at 350 degrees, tightly covered in foil, for 30 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove the skins and puree them in your food processor or vitamix. 

 Freshly made ricotta, roasted puree of beets, fresh organic eggs and thyme from my garden. 

Freshly made ricotta, roasted puree of beets, fresh organic eggs and thyme from my garden. 

Now add the goat and ricotta cheeses to the food processor and blend thoroughly. Salt and pepper this to your liking. Now to make the ravioli.

Roll out your dough starting at the highest setting and taking it to the second to last settting on your pasta machine (hand or electric). 

Freshly rolled fresh pasta

Lay your sheet of dough, cut into a 4" squares, onto a clean surface.  Place a scant 1 TBSP of filling into the center of your dough, wet the sides all around the dough with water using a pastry brush and then seal with a top with another layer of dough. 

Roasted beet ravioli filling
Filled beet raviolo

Now, brown your butter in a skillet large enough to handle your ravioli later. Cook the butter over medium heat to the stage where it will begin to brown and you an smell the nutty flavor of the browned butter coming through. Add your freshly chopped sage and let that perfume the butter for 1-2 minutes. 

Now, add your ravioli, tossing gently to coat with the butter sauce and viola! You are ready to serve! 

 Buon Appetito!

Buon Appetito!

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