RAVIOLI WITH BACON, RICOTTA AND SWISS CHARD (for two)
For the filling:
3 slices bacon
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves washed and chopped (about ½ pound)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
24 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1 cup prepared tomato sauce, heated (recipe follows)
1. Make the filling. In a large, heavy skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp and with a slotted spoon transfer to a cutting board. Chop bacon fine. Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and heat remaining fat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook chard and garlic, stirring, until chard is tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer chard mixture to a bowl and cool. To chard mixture, add cheeses, 2 tablespoons bacon and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a gentle boil.
3. Put a wonton wrapper on a lightly floured surface and mound 1 tablespoon filling in center of wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water and put a second wrapper over first, pressing down around filling to force out air. Seal edges well and transfer ravioli to a kitchen towel. Make more ravioli with remaining wrappers and filling in the same manner, turning them occasionally to dry slightly. Cook ravioli in water at a gentle boil 6 to 8 minutes, or until they rise to the surface and are tender. (Do not let water boil vigorously once ravioli has been added.) With a slotted spoon transfer ravioli as cooked to a kitchen towel to drain.
4. Divide ravioli between 2 plates and spoon sauce over them. Sprinkle ravioli with remaining tablespoon bacon.
MARIO’S BASIC TOMATO SAUCE (marinara, 4 cups)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
½ medium carrot, finely shredded
two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, with their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week and frozen for 6 months.
adapted from Mario Batali, Molto Italiano