pasta, recipe

Homemade Ravioli

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Closeup of a finished homemade, 2.5 inch, ravioli stuffed ricotta.

Homemade Ravioli 

Stuffed pasta, like almost every food type found in Italy, is defined by region.  As my childhood neighbor from Genoa would always proclaim, homemade ravioli (meaning to wrap) are quintessentially Ligurian.  Moreover, tortellini and cappelletti are understood as Emilian while Italians recognize agnelotti as derived from Piemonte.  Stuffed pastas come in many shapes and sizes and their stuffings vary from vegetables, ricotta/other cheeses, and meats.

In our southern Italian family, stuffed pasta such as ravioli and cannelloni always denoted a special celebration given our reliance on dry pasta (short and long) during most of the year.  In Italy, stuffed pasta was always made by hand via a skilled family member, though most modern Italians now purchase their stuffed pastas from shops specializing in all sorts of pasta shapes.  Our handmade ravioli recipe comes via our now 101 year old Ligurian neighbor Amelia where I spent many Sunday afternoons awaiting her delivery of handmade pasta gems.

Process:

Begin by making a batch of our homemade pasta dough and roll it out fairly thin working your way to setting six or seven on your pasta machine (we use a hand cranked Imperia).  Roll your finished dough out into roughly 13 inch by 6 inch sheets.   We use a ravioli plate or form to make the stuffed pasta because it’s faster and more precise than using a single form type press.  Our ravioli press produces 10 2.5 inch ravioli.  Begin by layering a single piece of dough over the metal press and then place the plastic piece that accompanies your press and create a divet in your pasta dough (this area is for your filling).  Place roughly 1.5-2 teaspoons of filling (see filling recipe below) in the divet and layer the second piece of dough over the form.  Gently use your hand to flatten the second layer of dough and thereafter use a rolling pin to bind and cut through the two layers of pasta dough.  Remove the individual ravioli to a clean, and flowered, baking dish.  Bring a large pot of fresh water to a boil and cook the ravioli for 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the pasta and the thickness of the dough.  Taste a few along the way if you have a hard time discerning when pasta is complete via touch (fresh pasta usually requires very little cooking time in comparison to dry pasta).  Ravioli are delicate pasta types so dress them minimally and gently with butter and grated cheese or a simple tomato sauce.

The traditional flour well ready for a few eggs.


Ingredients for Filling:

  • 1/2 cup of homemade ricotta (and/or made by a reputable market or shop).  Note on supermarket ricotta: don’t buy it (it’s often bland, made poorly, and devoid of any real taste).  If you don’t have access to ricotta made by a true Italian market then make it yourself.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of grated cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana)
  • 1/4 cup of finely diced or grated mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • Dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Shredded meat of your choice (optional and can be included with the ricotta filling)
  • Cooked and finely chopped spinach (optional but in combination with meat)

Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Dough (Ravioli):

Flour well with eggs

Flour well with eggs

Rolling out pasta dough by hand (we recommend a pasta machine).

Rolling out pasta dough by hand (we recommend a pasta machine).

Stuffing the ravioli with ricotta filling.

Stuffing the ravioli with ricotta filling.

ravioli

10 2.5 inch ravioli - note our dough was a bit thick given that we rolled it by hand, thus the ravioli didn't separate easily.

ravioli press

ravioli press

handmade ravioli awaiting a quick dip in the boiling and salted water

handmade ravioli awaiting a quick dip in the boiling and salted water

Ricotta filling with grated cheese, egg, mozzarella, etc.

Ricotta filling with grated cheese, egg, mozzarella, etc.

stirring the ricotta filling

stirring the ricotta filling

 

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  • margo

    I have never used this type of ravioli press….is it easier than cutting individual pieces? Would love your input as to which one to buy. William sonoma offers one that produces small ravioli. Thank you …great newsletter!

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      Hi Margo, thanks for reading the newsletter and glad you enjoy the site! I find the press pictured above much easier than individual ravioli presses because, as you suggested, it’s much easier to make large quantities. I do enjoy smaller size ravioli and the press above makes medium sized ravioli (not a negative but something to think about). Happy ravioli making! Vince

  • Catherine

    I’ve made ravioli with the tray. But recently at a friend’s house, we used the well worn, extra large ravioli rolling pin. A 30″ square of so many perfect ravioli is a beautiful sight to behold!

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      Beautiful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.scarfo.3 Mary Scarfo

    I’m having difficulty finding a similar ravioli tray like the one you use, would you know where I might find one that makes the medium to large ravioli as yours does, Thank You

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003171791149 Ma Slo

    I just bought a ravioli rolling pin because the videos on U-Tube seem to show that it’s faster than using a ravioli pan. Have you used a ravioli rolling pin? If so, did you like it? What are the pros and cons of pin versus pan? I’m looking for a ravioli pan, to try it out. I figure it doesn’t hurt to have more than one way to make something. :-)
    I made your Alfredo Sauce recipe last night and put it on homemade egg noodles and it was a huge, huge hit! Your sauce is what I’ve been looking for all of my life! Thank you so much for posting such a great recipe…and it’s sooooo easy, too!!!!. I am now back on your site looking up more recipes!