On a recent trip home, I spent all afternoon with my family making homemade ravioli. It’s not as daunting as you think and the fruit of our labor was well worth it. We made butternut squash ravioli with butter sage sauce and spinach ricotta ravioli with homemade marinara sauce. I’ve included both fillings here.
So put on some Italian Opera, roll up your sleeves, pour yourself a glass of vino and begin.
Note: it is best to have a pasta machine. Most fun with a group of your favorite people.
Ravioli Dough – You Will Need:
2 cup Semolina Flour
3 large Eggs
pinch of salt
Optional: Ravioli Form (looks like ice cube tray)
Ravioli Pasta Machine Instructions: Set the knob on: 1. 1. 1.1. 2. 3. 4. 5. (be sure to do four times on #1)
Spinach Ricotta Filling – You Will Need:
1 Ricotta (15 oz container)
2 C. fresh spinach, uncooked
dash of salt
1 Tbl parsley
1/3 C parmigiana cheese, grated
Blend all ingredients in food processor until very smooth. Be sure the mixture isn’t too “wet” as you want them to be sticky enough to form into small balls for the filling.
Butternut Squash Filling – You Will Need:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup butternut squash puree
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend all ingredients with a mixing spoon until smooth. Set aside.
Crack eggs in small bowl. Whisk or beat with fork or your fingers.
Make mountain of flour on a flat surface like your table, and form a well in the center of it. Pour in 1/2 of egg mixture and begin mixing egg into flour with 2 fingers while supporting the mound of flour with your other hand, adding in the rest of the egg mixture once the dough gets going.
Knead dough for 5 minutes, flouring surface with semolina as needed.
Form dough into ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Set dough aside to rest 15-30 minutes while you make your filling.
After dough has rested 15-30 minutes, gently flatten the ball of dough and cut into 4 pieces with a knife or dough blade. Roll out first piece. Work quickly so dough does not dry out. Keep extra dough in plastic wrap.
To use Ravioli machine: Run the piece of dough through the ravioli machine. #1 setting on knob, roll the dough through. Then fold the dough into thirds. This actually helps to knead the dough even more.
#1 setting for 2nd time. Roll the dough that was folded into thirds through again.
Then add a little flour. Fold into thirds again.
#1 setting 3rd time. Run dough through machine. Fold into thirds.
#1 setting 4th time.
#2, #3, #4, #5 settings. Not necessary to fold dough for 2-5 settings.
Note: While putting it through, be sure to make the strip of dough as wide as the pasta machine.
Next, you form the ravioli either by hand or with a ravioli maker: (looks like an ice-cube tray, see above). Ravioli are more uniform, quicker to make and, seals tightly with this.
Make By hand without the ravioli maker: Use rolling pin to roll dough into thin strips, about 3” wide, and about the thickness of a nickel. Drop 1 tsp of filling a couple inches apart, then brush center, edges and in between each ravioli with egg wash. Fold over the other half of the dough like closing a book, and seal by pressing with fingers. Make sure no air is trapped inside. Use a pizza cutter, knife, or ravioli cutter to make each ravioli.
To use the ravioli press: Place the long strip on the floured surface. Measure length of dough to be slightly longer than the ravioli maker (ice cube tray thingy). 2 strips needed.
Next place 1st strip of dough flour side down (so it is easily removed from form) onto ravioli maker. Make sure dough reaches to the edges.
Then, press gently with the ‘white form’ to make the wells for the filling.
Fill the wells with 1 tsp of or so filling. Take the 2nd strip of dough, flour side up. Gently press down to get all the air out.
Then over turn the tray, and pop out the ravioli. You may have to very gently push them out. They’re usually clean and
Boil water, drop ravioli in for approximately 4 minutes. Drain and take out, serve with your choice sauce (we liked a browned butter with sage leaf sauce for the butternut squash) and for the spinach ricotta we used our family’s marinara recipe.
Our second ravioli of the evening, Spinach Ricotta: