Start to Finish: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 40 2-inch-square ravioli
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
If the only ravioli you know comes from a can or a freezer pack, you're in for a surprise when you make your own. Instead of a doughy, thick pasta filled with gummy cheese, traditional ravioli is a light dumpling filled with any number of pureed vegetables, delicate cheeses or even egg. Accompany ravioli with a simple, flavorful sauce that highlights, rather than masks, the pasta.
Making homemade ravioli is a bit of an art. You must practice to get the dough to the right thickness and the filling to the perfect quantity. But you'll be rewarded with tender pillows of pasta that are delectable and satisfying. Classic ravioli is often filled with a ricotta cheese mixture; in this recipe, that filling is spiked with tangy goat cheese.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup soft goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- One egg, beaten, to seal the dough
Making the Dough
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl, and mound it onto a clean counter or large cutting board. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to mix the eggs, oil and water.
Create a well in the center of the flour and pour the egg mixture into it. Use your fingers to work the wet and dry ingredients together; alternatively use a fork for mixing. Once the ingredients are roughly mixed, knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and the ingredients fully incorporated. Add flour as needed to keep the dough from being overly sticky.
Form the dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the Filling
Place the ricotta, goat cheese, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Set aside or refrigerate the mixture until the dough finishes resting.
Roll Out the Dough
Split the dough into two rectangular sections. Use a pasta machine, or a rolling pin, to press each out until they're approximately 1/32 inch thick. Aim to maintain the dough's rectangular shape for the most efficient filling and cutting process. Sprinkle small amounts of flour on the dough as you roll or press it out to prevent it from becoming sticky.
You don't have to measure the thickness of the dough exactly, but observe by sight and feel. Dough that's too thick will not cook through when boiled and will overwhelm the filling; dough that's too thin will fall apart during the stuffing and cutting process. Work quickly too -- dry dough will not effectively seal to create the pasta packets.
Fill and Cut the Ravioli
Lay one long pasta sheet on a dry work surface. Drop tablespoons of filling, spaced about 1/2 inch apart, in rows on the dough. Brush the edges of each mound with the beaten egg. Gently lay the other pasta sheet over the filling. Use your fingers to press the edges of the pasta dough together and to seal it around each filling mound. Cut into squares using a pasta cutter or a plain knife, leaving about a 1/4-inch border.
Cook or Store
Set a large pot of generously salted water on the stovetop to boil. Gently place the ravioli in the boiling water and cook until they float to the top -- approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and serve immediately with a light marinara sauce or browned butter.
Alternatively, place the ravioli in a single layer on a baking pan and refrigerate for up to a day. Sprinkle them with a bit of all-purpose or semolina flour to prevent them from becoming too moist. Don't let the ravioli touch, or they'll be hard to separate when you are ready to cook them. If you don't plan to use them the next day, freeze them by placing the baking sheet into the freezer. After they're frozen solid -- about 1 hour -- transfer them to a large freezer bag or appropriate container.
The type of flour you use determines the final texture of the ravioli pasta. All-purpose flour is a safe, convenient option that yields a satisfactory dough. For a particularly silky pasta, go with specialty 00 flour, which is finely milled and often only available from Italian grocers. Semolina flour, a coarse wheat flour, may also be substituted for up to a cup of the all-purpose flour. Ravioli made with semolina has a chewier, rougher texture that attracts the sauce. A combination of any of these flours creates a perfectly delicious pasta dough that you can roll out for ravioli; which one you ultimately settle on depends on your personal preferences and intentions for the dish.
- Photo Credit tomasworks/iStock/Getty Images
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