The concept of using the ravioli filling as a condiment for pasta is very liberating! It was popularized by the famous Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi, who first introduced ravioli aperti "open ravioli" back in the '80's. Nowadays, many Italians, pressed for time, forgo ravioli making and turn the filling into a free-form sauce for the pasta. The flavors are the same and it saves time.
Bergamo, in Lombardy, is renowned for its casuncelli, highly delicious, very unusual ravioli, made with an odd but oh so tasty assortment of ingredients; salami, roast beef, pears, raisins, and crushed almonds cookies. The filling makes an exceptionally tasty, very unusual sauce for any shape dried pasta.
3 tablespoons butter 2 ounces (60 g) pancetta or bacon, diced 1 sweet sausage 4 ounces (115g) roast beef, Thinly sliced then cut into strips 1 large pear, Thinly sliced with peel left on 2 tablespoons golden raisins 3 to 4 small fresh sage leaves 1 garlic clove, minced 1 pound (455g) calamarata or other two pasta, preferably Felicetti or Garofalo Zest of half lemon Grana Padano or other aged cheese Ground cinnamon Freshly ground nutmeg Minced fresh parsley Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 to 3 amaretti cookies, crushed, optional
In a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about five minutes. Remove the sausage from the casing and crumble it into the pan; Cook until browned. Add the beef, pear, raisins, garlic and sage. Cook the mixture until the pears are soft.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until it is almost al dente. Drain and toss it into the sauce along with a few tablespoons of cooking liquid. Stir well and cook, Adding more cooking liquid, if needed until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the zest and season with grated cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg and parsley to taste. Season with salt-and-pepper and serve the pasta topped with a sprinkling of amaretti crumbs.