I am always asked where I get my ideas for the recipes that I post on my blog. Some recipes are inspired by dishes I enjoy while dining out, others from magazines, and some are just shared with me from others. My children went to The American School of Milan in Italy during our eight years of living in Milan. The school was great overall, but the cafeteria was run by Italian Nonnas.
As you can imagine, the children ate very well! One of the cafeteria ladies named Santina also catered school functions and was a fantastic cook. One of the dishes she often prepared that I fell in love with was this ravioli dish. The sauce is a very simple “salsa rosa” or pink sauce that red chili flakes are added to add a little heat. Peppery arugula is tossed with the pasta along with the sauce just before serving.
To make this pasta dish as easy as possible, you can make it with a good quality of purchased cheese ravioli. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own ravioli at home. Although you could use your favorite jarred marinara sauce, when it is so easy to make a quick full-flavored sauce from scratch, I really recommend that you do so.
I use heavy cream in the sauce, but only a small amount is needed. You can also easily adjust how spicy you prefer the sauce with the amount of chili flakes you add. Do start out with just a pinch, and taste the sauce first before adding more. You can always add extra spice, but it is much more challenging to lower the dish’s heat. I’ve made this easy pasta dish many times and finally decided it was a recipe that I needed to share.
- 1 (20 Ounce) Package Cheese Ravioli
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
- 1 (14 Ounce) Can Finely Chopped Tomatoes (Mutti is my favorite brand)
- 3 Teaspoons Finely inched Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/2+ Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes (See Notes Above)
- 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
- 3 Cups Fresh Baby Arugula
- Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, place a saucepan over medium heat, then add the olive oil and once lightly simmering add the garlic.
- Cook a minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chili flakes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and stir to blend.
- Once heated, taste sauce and add additional cream or salt and pepper as desired.
- Cook the ravioli according to package instructions, then drain and return to the pot.
- Add half the sauce and arugula, and stir to coat the pasta with the sauce and mix in the arugula.
- Serve the pasta in individual bowls with a spoonful of additional sauce on top.
- Offer grated cheese at the table.