I don't know about you, but I am tired of Manhattan being overrun by chains. How many many banks, drug stores and frozen yogurt places does one borough need?
That is why I love Raffetto's on West Houston Street. In business since 1906, Raffetto's makes fresh pasta and ravioli right on the premises. While pasta and ravioli are their specialty, Raffetto's also sells homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and other Italian products. Given the neighborhood, and the fact that it is Manhattan, you would think fresh pasta and ravioli would be expensive. But its not. Raffetto's is completely reasonable.
The other day I stopped by and picked up some of their pumpkin ravioli. The combination of pumpkin with a hint of nutmeg and other spices, topped with made-myself tomato sauce was delicious.
Homemade tomato sauce
Olive oil, one turn of the pan
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic
2 28 oz cans of whole, plum tomatoes
Italian seasoning, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Open cans of tomatoes and separate tomatoes from the juice. Reserve the juice. Crush each tomato by gently squeezing them with your hand, breaking them into pieces. If you like a chunkier sauce, then keep the tomato pieces bigger. Put the tomatoes to the side.
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion. Cook until onions are soft. Add tomato juice and cook for two minutes. Then add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Simmer for half-an-hour, and then serve. Freeze any left over sauce in the freezer for future use.
144 W Houston St
New York, NY 10012-2546