Thursday, October 27, 2011

How To Make Homemade Ravioli

As the days get shorter and temps get cooler, we find ourselves craving those wonderful comfort foods of winter like, stuffed pastas full of gooey cheese, comforting soups and my kiddos favorite, ravioli.  They are the perfect marriage of cheese and pasta in one perfect bite.

Making homemade pasta seems like a daunting task and it was to me too, but it was one of those things I wanted to learn to do.  My youngest has serious food allergies and after a couple of very scary moments when he was a baby, it became clear that making homemade food was best for him.  This ravioli is his favorite.

And let me tell ya, making ravioli from scratch is a heck of a lot easier, and faster, if you have one of these gadgets.
It's a ravioli press and they are pretty inexpensive and save lots of time.  And if you enjoy making your own ravioli, you gotta get yourself one. 

To get started with your pasta dough, grab these ingredients.  I doubled my recipe here, however, the recipe listed below is NOT doubled. 
I use eggs, olive oil, and two kinds of flour; cake flour and all purpose.  Combine your flours and create a well in the center.  Crack 4 eggs into it and then add your olive oil.
Whisk the eggs and olive oil until combined and slowly begin adding small amounts of flour until it is all combined and looks like this.
Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface and begin kneading.  This part is a little work, so if you've had a bad day, this is a great way to release some frustration. :)
If it looks a little dry like mine does, add a little bit of water, about a teaspoon at a time, until it comes together but isn't sticky.  It will look like this when it's finished.
Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes and up to an hour while you prepare your cheese filling.
The cheese filling I make consists of mozzarella, sharp provolone, ricotta and cream cheese.  So yummy and cheesy and did I mention I am a huge cheese fan?  Combine them all in a bowl and set aside while we make the cute little raviolis.
Take your pasta dough and cut into four equal pieces.
Take one piece of dough, wrap the others back up so they don't dry out, and roll it out a bit, then, if you have a stand mixer with a pasta attachment, feed the dough through it.  I highly recommend the pasta attachment for stand mixers.  It makes making homemade pasta so fast and easy.
I start on the lowest setting, which is 1, and then go up to about a 7 for ravioli.  After you've done that, take your ravioli press and lay it on a towel so it won't slide around on you.  Lay your dough on the press.
And then take the top portion of the press, and "press" it into your dough to create little indentations for your filling.  It's very important to grease the entire press, especially the plastic part, so your dough won't stick to it and cause you to throw a fit in your kitchen.   Not that I did that or anything.  :)
Now scoop your cheese filling in, about a half a tablespoon, maybe a little less.
Now take the rest of your dough from that section and place it over the top.
Press down gently with your fingers, then take a rolling pin and roll over the press to seal and cut the edges of the ravioli.
And that's it!  You just made 12 ravioli!  Turn it upside down on a floured baking sheet and pop 'em out.
Aren't they cute?!
Repeat that process with the remaining three sections of your dough and then you will have two baking sheets full of yummy fresh ravioli.
If you aren't eating these right away, pop the baking sheets into the freezer as is and let them freeze.  When the ravioli are frozen, stick them in a freezer bag and return them to the freezer.  Then you will have homemade ravioli whenever the desire strikes. 
I like to do this on a rainy day.   There is something so comforting about cooking up something special for your family on days like that.  And I am not a pasta making expert by any means, this is just how I like to do it.  When cooking it up, boil in salted water until they float to the top.  Then combine with your favorite marinara, some fresh parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of baby basil leaves.  This is why I love having the ravioli already made and frozen, I can get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  Scroll down for the recipe.

Homemade Ravioli with 4 Cheese Filling

Pasta Dough
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS cake flour
2 eggs
2 TBS olive oil

4 Cheese Filling
8 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup sharp provolone
1 egg

To make pasta dough, combine flours, make a well in large bowl and crack both eggs into along with olive oil.  Whisk, slowly incorporating flour until your dough comes together.  If it's too dry, add very small amounts of water at a time.  Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temp. for approximately 30 minutes.

Prepare cheese filling by combining filling ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

After dough has rested, cut the dough into four portions.  Working with one portion at a time, flatten the dough into a disk and send through a pasta machine on the lowest setting.  Roll through each setting up to setting 7.

Place dough across ravioli press and using the top portion of the press, press it into your dough to create indentations in your pasta for your filling.  Fill with about a half a tablespoon of your filling and cover with another sheet of pasta dough.  Take a rolling pin and roll across the dough to seal and cut the ravioli.  Turn onto a floured cookie sheet and repeat entire process with remaining dough.  After all ravioli are made, you can freeze them individually on the cookie sheet and then when completely frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, or cook immediately in salted boiling water.  Ravioli are done when they float to the top.
  

I'm working on a thrift chair redo that I can't wait to show you!  I'm so excited about it!  And I've got another great giveaway next week so stay tuned!  And have a great day everyone!

20 comments:

  1. These look amazing! Do you have a recipe for the sauce? That looks really good, too...:)

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  2. These look amazing! Do you have a recipe for the sauce? that looks great,too!

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  3. Charlotte, I used a store bought marinara here since all the work went into making the ravioli. However, I highly recommend Tyler Florences's marinara recipe at foodnetwork.com. I make it all the time and freeze it and it's so easy but tastes soooo good! :)

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  4. I'm starving! I'm sure this tastes delish ~

    xo
    Pat

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  5. Just ordered the "gadget"! I use my pasta maker a lot (fettucini, manicotti & lasagna, mostly) but I've always wanted to make these! Thank you!

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  6. This looks amzing!!! I have to get some new kitchen gadgets so that I can make these :-) Thanks for sharing!

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  7. That looks so good and yummy and a reason to buy another "gadget" for the kitchen. I must try this ASAP (after the gadget gets here). Thanks so much for the recipe and once again you never cease to amaze me.
    jan

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  8. Thank you for the sweet comments! Happy cooking!

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  9. You had me at ravioli. Oh my does it ever look delicious. Have you ever filled them with butter nut squash puree? I ate some at a restaurant with butternut squash puree and a sage butter sauce was used to top it. Talk about heavenly. you make it look so easy.
    I have heard that fresh pasta doesn't take as long to cook as boxed. Do you find that to be true as well?
    Love your recipes you share. Keep em coming. : )

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  10. Hi Cheryl! I've never had butternut squash ravioli......that sounds delicious...and with a butter sauce, YUM! Yes, fresh pasta doesn't take very long to cook at all....probably half the time it takes to cook dried. And thank you! Have a great evening!

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  11. Oh I wish I had a Kitchen Aid to buy pasta attachments for... Love the recipe!

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  12. How fun!! I have so many things to ask for for Christmas.....

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  13. The raviolis look great! I love italian food.....

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  14. Making ravioli has been on my bucket list for YEARS now. I have the attachment for the mixer even and I still have never done it. It's settled. I am FINALLY making homemade pasta. Your cheesy filling sounds delish. I'm a cheese superfan as well. The best part about ravioli is the innumerable things you can put inside of it! And fall is the perfect opportunity to get on it. You've lit the fire under me. :)

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  15. oh.my.gosh. your house is exactly what i'm hoping mine will someday be! GORGEOUS. i'm going to add you to my blog list if you don't mind! i'm so in love with your blog.

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  16. YUUUMMM this looks delish! I definitely want to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Wow! I am very impressed, you are a master DIY-er and you can make homemade pasta?!? I can barely cook :( I should try to make this and impress my hubby! Anyway, it looks delicious!

    ~Carla

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  18. You're killing me! I have become addicted to homemade pasta which I buy in the summer at our farmer's market. I've been wanting to get that attachment for my kitcenhaid so I can try it too. You have inspired me to make it a priority!

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  19. Has anyone here ever tried a Ravioli Rolling Pin? I watched a guy (nicknamed Tarotbear) on Utube and he does a great demo with his. The pin is sometimes referred to as a "checkered" rolling pin.

    I am amazed at how easy pasta is to make and that there seems to be no right or wrong way to make the dough (i.e. one egg per cup of flour, 2 eggs per cup of flour, etc.) It's like, whatever you want to do, just do it.

    So when I make pasta I use more eggs for an egg noodle flavor. For ravioli I've been using 1 egg per cup of flour because the filling is what everyone will be tasting, anyways. I like putting olive oil in my dough but many recipes don't call for any oil at all. Some don't even call for water when the eggs are increased since they are enough to wet down the dough.

    I'll bet our grandmothers knew all of this by the time they were five or six years old! Lol!

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