Help me make awesome homemade ravioli! Please?

Okay, I want to make homemade ravioli this weekend. I have never made pasta from scratch before.

I do not have a “pasta machine”
I do have fresh basil, oregano, and thyme growing right outside the kitchen door.

Tips? Recipes? Encouragement?


Actually, pasta machines don’t really work for ravioli. What you need to do is make a big batch of pasta and roll it out into two sheets. Then put little spoonfuls of filling on one sheet. Then brush lines of water like a grid between the piles of filling. Lay the second sheet over the first (you’ll want to do a sort of rolling motion so no air gets trapped inside) and pat the two sheets of pasta together. Then cut it into squares with a knife.

I do have a pasta machine and a ravioli tray. It would be tough without them. I never really made pasta successfully before I had a machine. Two things to watch: without a machine, it’s going to be tricky to get the pasta sheets thin enough. 2: without the tray, it’s going to tricky to make sure there’s not much air left in the ravioli and that the edges are nicely sealed, both of which are important to stop the package from bursting when you boil them.

Here’s a couple of tips for you. After mixing the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so before rolling it. That will give you smoother dough for the pasta and will allow you to roll it out thinner.

Regarding the filling, you can use a blend of cheeses or meat. For a cheese filling, I’d recommend using ricotta as a base with mozzerella and a blend of italian cheeses such as asiago, parmesan, and romano along with salt, pepper, and that fresh basil and maybe a bit of parsley. If it’s to your taste, you can add some oregano and onion powder as well.

If you want to use a meat filling, you can use some italian sausage or your favorite meatball recipie mixed with some of the italian cheeses. Just make sure it’s cooked before filling the raviolis.

To help hold the raviolis together, use a fork to crimp the edges. That used to be my job when I was a kid. We’d make a ton at a time and freeze them.

As for encouragement, go for it!

I don’t know about the ravioli tray, but I’d reccomend getting a pasta machine - I’ve tried both with and without, and hawthorne is right, you can’t really roll the dough thin enough, even if you leave it in the fridge (and you should leave it in, like Linus said.

Getting the air out is a matter of cupping your fingers 'round the filling on 3 sides, then finishing off on the last - hard to explain, easy to show.

A simple filling - make up some fresh basil-sun-dried tomato-garlic pesto (You do have a mortar, right?). Finely chop some good ham (parma, prosciutto). Finely grate some cheese. Combine and fill. Serve with a tomato sauce.

Other fillings I liked - smoked chicken & smoked mozzarella cheese, pounded boiled beans and fresh herbs, cheese-and-mushroom (kinda like Menagerie d’Paris “mushroom pasties”. The chawetties pork filling goes well too, if fried up first. [see, I know you do SCA]).

I say spring for the pasta roller (should be <$20), it really is the most useful thing, and ends up being used for a lot of other stuff - I’ve even used it to flatten silver wire for brocaded tablet weaving!

Oh, and the other bit (the pasta) is fairly simple - for every 100g fine flour, use 1 large egg (sorry for the metric) and 1 pinch salt- no need to look for the speciality pasta flour, just use cake flour. Ravioli isn’t dried like others so no need for the “tipo '00” or such fussiness.

mmm, I think I’ll make ravioli this weekend -white pasta filled with tomato, green pasta filled with cheese and pepper- or sepia-pasta filled with smoked chicken…with chocoloate ravioli for desert!

Personally, I think that cheese filled ravioli is much better than ravioli with meat or poultry filling. YMMV. I don’t make ravioli, but I do make stuffed shells and manicotti. For those items, I use a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone (NOT smoked) and romano cheeses. I just put in a little parsley for seasoning the cheese mixture, and spice up the tomato sauce that goes with the pasta.

Yes! I have two, one for edibles and one for non-edibles. I also have parsley out in the herb garden.
This is looking promising. I may actually be able to do this.

I agree. I’d like to make a cheese and mushroom filling. Portobello? Or will just regular white mushrooms work?

As to the pasta roller- Is that what it’s called in stores? Would Target have one? Or should I get one at a specialty cookware store? Is the pasta roller the pasta “machine” people keep talking about, or are they two different things?
Thanks for all the help so far!


This is what I mean by a pasta machine (although mine’s an Imperia - a fine gift it was too). It cranks out long lasagne sheets. You clamp it to the bench and the thing on the left is for cutting into angel’s hair. I was never good enough with a rolling pin to make pasta without it. You can get electric ones, but the hand cranked ones are pretty cool. Any kitchenware place will have them.

As for fillings, any mushroom will do. But stronger tasting is good - subtle tends to get lost. Well-seasoned mushies cooked down and mixed with ricotta would work well.

Leave it there! Or use it as garnish…

They’d work, but portobello would be better. Or dried porcini.

Some people use the term to mean an attachment for food processors that makes macaroni & spagghetti, but the roller is what I understand by “pasta machine”.

$39 for one (as per that linky by hawthorne) sounds a bit steep, though - Target has an all-metal one (Italian Traditions) for $27.Link

…which of course just takes you to the amazon page for that make, at $2 more…aah well, you get the idea :smack:

Yay! I get to go to Target!!!
Thanks guys! For the help, and the excuse to go shop! :smiley:
I’m planning on doing this on Saturday, so I’ll let everyone know how it went.


Damn you people! Stop feeding the Target addiction!


Watch. One batch of ravioli is likely to cost me no less than $5,000 USD. sigh
Well, it’ll be tasty, at least.
-stonebow, a good cook who has the misfortune to be married to a GREAT cook

The less money you have to spend on 18" :eek: :eek: , the better for my aching sides :wink: .

( As a complete aside, do you have any armour pics on the web? One of my shiremates has just finished some boulli half-gaunlets with gold ribbon-beasts. Tasty!