Although ravioli are typically Italian the first time ever tasting them was when I decided to adventure into the world of stuffed pasta and make them myself. I have no recollection of eating ravioli as a child at home or anywhere else.
While shopping in a department store many years ago, I noticed some plastic ravioli molds on clearance and the rest is history! We’ve enjoyed ravioli in many shapes and sizes since then. It’s interesting to note that over the years different size and shaped molds were acquired of much better quality but the least expensive, red plastic ravioli mold remains my favourite.
Although there’s nothing hard about making your own ravioli it does require a little time and patience. Sometimes a large container of ricotta cheese is purchased with the best intentions of making a batch for Sunday dinner but later find myself thinking of alternate ways to use up the ricotta. After reconsidering and already knowing how much everyone enjoys ravioli with Sunday sauce what I call “a labour of love” yields enough ravioli for all to enjoy.
Ricotta filled ravioli are our favourite, on the other hand a smaller size chicken stuffed ravioli are absolutely delicious served in chicken broth. No matter the type of filling, size, shape or kind of sauce they’re served in, ravioli seem to go over well with most and it’s a pleasure to see how much they are appreciated and enjoyed.
However, I remain perplexed at how ravioli can take hours to make and only minutes to disappear!
The measurement of ingredients listed is for the usual amount I make to serve a full table of people. The yield using these amounts is around 225 one inch ravioli.
You can make half the recipe but these ravioli freeze very well and are great to have on hand. Once all ingredients are ready to go the difference between making 100 or 200 is just a little extra time. You’ll thank yourself later when all you have to do to enjoy a ravioli dinner is a walk to the freezer.
Use the Homemade Pasta dough recipe already posted on my Someone’s in the Kitchen blog, the only difference being to use only flour instead of the semolina flour mix. This ensures a more tender pasta dough. It’s also a good idea to make the dough one batch at a time. This way it will remain soft, moist and pliable, easier to roll out thinly and much easier for the two sheets to stick together after being filled. Dry dough is not ravioli friendly.
900 grams of fresh ricotta
1 large egg
¾ cups grated cheese (parmiggiano, crotonese etc. or your favourite)
about 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
- Drain ricotta if necessary.
- Beat the egg and add to ricotta along with remaining ingredients and mix very well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the amount of ricotta filling stated you will need up to 5 batches of dough.
- Make one batch of pasta dough and roll out as thin as you can remembering that the finished product will be 2 layers thick.
- Flour the ravioli mold and place half of the rolled out dough on top. The easiest way to fill is by placing ricotta mixture into a piping bag with a plain tip and pipe dollops of ricotta into the center of each square. Be careful not to over fill or it will ooze out creating a bit of a mess.
- Brush remaining sheet of dough lightly with water then place over ricotta filled squares. The film of water will make sure the two layers adhere well. Gently pat down with your hand.
- Lightly flour and roll over the dough with rolling pin until all edges are crimped.
- Turn ravioli out on a tray lined with a clean tea towel.
- If not serving the same day freeze on the tray until solid then pack into freezer bags and return to freezer until ready to use.
- Cook as for any pasta but make sure to use a large pot and plenty of water so they can move about freely while cooking. When ravioli rise to the top of the boiling water, cook for a few minutes more until tender. They don’t require a long cooking time since they are made with fresh pasta dough. Don’t forget to generously salt the water before adding the ravioli.
- Drain well and serve with your favourite tomato sauce.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- These ravioli are on the delicate side so it’s recommended to spoon them out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon or spider utensil instead of draining them right into a colander.
- If no piping bag is available place the ricotta filling into a sturdy zip lock bag and snip one of the corners off to pipe the filling out. Using a small spoon is an option but not as neat and harder to place filling exactly where you want it.
- Even if ravioli are to be eaten the same day they’re made, freezing makes them easier to handle at cooking time.
As you can see ravioli don’t have to be square. I suppose some clever mind anticipated a few bored Italians tired of the square version and got creative!
And just when you think you’ve seen them all…
Back to my ravioli mold discoveries, I was in a small shop a few years ago and my attention was drawn to a small wooden board on the shelf. My curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out what it was all about.
It took me a couple of minutes but finally realized it was a ravioli “board” not the more familiar “mold” I was accustomed to. Very plain and rustic, just a flat piece of wood with long thin grooves running up and down and across where a pastry wheel would be required to cut and crimp the dough. Honestly, I had to tear myself away from it otherwise it would have come home with me.
I shared the description of my newly discovered ravioli board with my husband and he said it would be an easy thing to replicate… so I put him to the test.
After adding a few more details to the board I had previously seen and making sure he included some indentations which would make it easier to place the filling in, this is what he came up with…
Well, I just couldn’t let him stop there! After creating a prototype and making several adjustments a limited edition of 4 ravioli boards were manufactured and distributed to 4 very blessed children and their families.
Perhaps these boards will be passed down through generations with a story to tell?