Making homemade ravioli is not as tricky or complicated as you may think. With homemade pasta dough, a succulent filling, and my simple tips, you’ll be making this easy ravioli recipe in no time. The best part is that you don’t need special equipment to make delicious, gourmet ravioli at home!
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The other week, I had a fun night teaching a group of teenage girls how to make ravioli! They had an absolute blast learning and making these little pockets filled with goodies. I thought I would share my teaching experience with you and, of course, provide a simple recipe to make your own ravioli at home!
After getting set up in the kitchen, I taught the girls all of the important things about making pasta from scratch, much like I discussed in this post. They all got to knead the dough and figured out that between all of them, they only needed to knead the dough ball for a little over a minute each. They also learned how the roller worked and why it was important to create layers within the dough.
I had them take turns in two groups, rolling out the dough, filling and shaping the dough. They all had such a fun time making their own ravioli.
I told them the importance of salting their boiling water super well so that the pasta is seasoned and how long it ought to cook for. We had a simple tomato sauce ready for them and they got to taste what they made, with their own hands. It was such a fun night for me (I got to don on my chef clothes once again,) and the girls got to learn something not a lot of people know how to do!
Now, you may be thinking that making your own homemade ravioli is complicated and super stressful but I am here to tell you that it’s not! It is time-consuming but eating fresh ravioli is worth all of the labor of love put into it’s making.
Before we start on anything I want to stress the importance of this one tip. Make sure to have flour (it doesn’t have to be semolina) on the counter surface as you are filling, shaping, and cutting the ravioli so they don’t stick. There is nothing worse than making cute little ravioli that are just perfect, only to have them stick to the counter and create a hole. Then you can’t use it and everyone is sad about the disaster.
Now that that’s out of the way!
Essential Tools for Making Homemade Pasta
There are some tools that you need, some are absolutes and others just make your life easier when making ravioli. You can definitely use a rolling pin for rolling out your pasta dough, but who has that kind of time?! Right???
You don’t need a mixer with a pasta attachment to generate scrumptious ravioli but this helps. It’s a manual pasta roller that clamps on to the edge of your counter or a table. You would need to use the hand crank to manually pass the pasta dough through the roller. It’s effective and it’s cheaper than what I use.
I LOVE my pasta roller attachment for my mixer; it’s easy to attach to the face of the mixer and once the mixer is one, I’m in business! I can roll out my pasta as fast as I want to and can get done much more quickly.
I won’t talk about the tools I use to cut and shape my ravioli pasta just yet,but just know that I have suggestions for that too!
How to Make Ravioli at Home
The first thing that I want to mention is the importance of the thickness of your pasta sheet.Because we’re layering the dough to make the ravioli,we need to roll the dough out a bit thinner than would be normal.As opposed to the thickness that would be normally used for ribbon or shaped pasta.On this round,I went down to my 7 on my pasta rolling attachment.Be sure to check your rollers settings,whether it be manual or an attachment,and make sure that you’re going the second to thinnest.
To read more about making your own homemade pasta dough,be sure to read this post!
Making Incredible Ravioli Filling
The filling is just as important as the ravioli pasta dough in my eyes.Make sure you season your ravioli filling well.In this case,I made a simple ricotta cheese filling;we had a vegetarian the night I demoed ravioli with lemon zest,parsley,and salt.You can also just get away with a plain ricotta cheese filling and it would be still delicious.
Here is mycreamy homemade ricotta cheese recipethat you can use for the filling!
Make sure to taste the filling first before making your pasta to ensure that it will be flavorful and super delicious!
The spacing of your ravioli is something to consider as well.Think about how big you want them to be and space your ravioli’s accordingly.With this ricotta cheese ravioli recipe,I used about 1 teaspoon of cheese for my filling per ravioli.
If you are using a ravioli stamp,just measure out from the center with the stamp to make sure that the filling isn’t too close to each other.More on shaping those tools later!
How to Seal Homemade Ravioli
One piece of important information I have to tell you about filling ravioli:
Make sure there are no air bubbles!
How do you accomplish this?Quite simple.
Once you have your dough rolled out and filling spaced apart,egg wash the outside edges of the bottom sheet,forming the shape of the pasta.Lay the top sheet on top of the filling and bottom.Then,working with your index fingers,press the dough together making sure that there isn’t space between your fingers and the filling.Meet your fingers together at the opposite side of the filling than you started from.You will have made a half circle with your fingers by doing this.
Having air bubbles gives you a false reading of when the pasta is done.The air in the filing pocket will make the ravioli pasta rise to the top of the water before the dough has finished cooking.With no air bubbles,the ravioli should only take about 3 minutes to cook or until it floats up to the top and stays.
Cutting and Shaping Homemade Ravioli
Cutting and shaping ravioli is lots of fun and you have a lot of different options to get the look you want!Here are what I use.
I love having this cutter with a crimped edge because it gives me that iconic ravioli look.However,I have also made ravioli without that crimp blade and it works fine.This toolis great because I have the crimping blade AND a straight blade so I can cut the ravioli and then crimp with the same tool.
I have also usedthese stamps… my little guy loves using them as bells but I’ll teach him when he’s older what their true,more glorious purpose is.
You get much bigger ravioli’s with these stamps and that means… more filling!Honestly,who doesn’t want more filling?!I also love that they come in a square and circle.
I have also seen aravioli cutting attachment for mixersor even thisravioli mold.I have not worked with either of them,but the theory is that you can get perfectly sealed and uniform looking ravioli by using them.
How To Store Homemade Ravioli
Now that the ravioli has been filled, shaped, and cut, you can either cook them immediately or you can store them to cook for future dinners. And honestly, if you’re going to go through the trouble of making ravioli by hand, you might as well make a ton, am I right?!
Freshly made ravioli is good to sit in the fridge for about 24 hours, which is great if you wanted to get a head start on tomorrow’s dinner. But after more than 24 hours, the homemade pasta dough starts to discolor.
If you are looking to store for longer than just a day, freezing your ravioli is your best option! I like to lay my shaped ravioli on a sheet pan, with the bottom being dusted with semolina flour and pop it in my freezer. I freeze them for about 24 hours and then place the homemade ravioli’s in a plastic baggy and keep them in my freezer.
Homemade ravioli can stay good in your freezer, for up to 3 months.
How To Cook Homemade Ravioli
Cooking homemade ravioli is rather simple. It’s just like boiling pasta. However, instead of timing the ravioli, the ravioli will let you know when they’re done with cooking.
If you have filled and sealed your ravioli’s properly, the ravioli will float to the top of the pot when they’re done with cooking.
Just like with any other pasta, though, it’s imperative that you properly salt your water before cooking your homemade ravioli. I add about ½ cup of kosher salt to about 8 quarts of water. I also like to scoop out my ravioli out of the water with this nifty spider skimmer. Plenty of water can escape and doesn't damage the ravioli.
The Best Sauce for Homemade Ravioli
Now the sauce accompanying the ravioli is about as diverse as you can be with ravioli. I’ve seen brown butter and sage sauces, mushroom cream sauces, creamy Tuscan sauces, even a butternut squash sauce.
For the purposes of getting the basics and technique down for making your own pasta at home, I love a simple tomato sauce with my ricotta cheese ravioli. I even use this super quick tomato sauce to toss my ravioli in. It has a deep and rich tomato flavor, some great robust herbs, and can be done in 20 minutes! Definitely my go-to sauce!
Feel free, though, as you expand your ravioli making skills and your creative ideas, to experiment with other flavor pairings and profiles. Check out this post to help get your juices rolling for regional cooking.
Here are some other great recipe ideas for ravioli if you’re wanting to be inspired!
- Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli- Renee Nicole's Kitchen
- Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli- Slow the Cook Down
- Roasted Duck Sweet Potato Ravioli- So Fab Food
- White Chocolate Marscapone Chocolate Ravioli with Raspberry Sauce- Pinch Me I'm Eating
This is just the basics for making ravioli at home and I hope you have fun making them yourselves! Feel free to get creative with the fillings, the world is your oyster. Maybe I’ll make a festive holiday one in the future; who knows?!
What is your favorite ravioli filling to eat?
If you found this post super helpful, and especially loved the recipe, leave a comment (with a rating) down below.
Happy eating everyone and enjoy!
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- 1 batch pasta dough
- 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 each lemon, zested
- 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- To taste salt
- Roll pasta out to thin sheets, going from second to thinnest setting on your pasta roller. Place on a semolina covered counter or baking sheet.
- Mix together ricotta filling until everything is incorporated. Spoon filling on to a pasta sheet, making sure to leave enough space to properly seal filling with other pasta sheet.
- Once filling has been place on the pasta sheet, using either water or an egg wash, egg wash pasta sheet, sectioning off the filling to create individual pockets. Place top sheet over and press down to seal raviolis, making sure there are no air pockets.
- Using a stamp, press, or pizza cutter, cut out ravioli's and place on a flour dusted baking sheet until ready to boil. Repeat until all of the pasta dough is used up or all of the filling has been used.
- Salt boiling water and gently drop raviolis into boiling water. Once they float to the top, gently scoop out with a slotted spoon, making sure the water is drained.
- Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
Here is my recipe for fresh ricotta that you can use for the filling.
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Amount Per ServingCalories 136Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 33mgSodium 185mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 7g