How to Make Homemade Ravioli. All You Need is a Rolling Pin. Easy Pasta Making Instructions and Tips!
You can make homemade ravioli in your kitchen tonight. You probably have the ingredients you need on hand and if you have a rolling pin then you have all the fancy equipment you need.
Homemade ravioli is a fantastic special occasion treat. It tastes great, is a lovely platform for your creative filling ideas and it always comes out tasting very fine. Your homemade ravioli may not look professionally perfect, but I think that's all part of the charm, and whatever they happen to look – ravioli rolled on your kitchen counter will always impress.
You can find a zillion recipes on the net for ravioli filling and sauces, so I won't go into any detail on that front here. What you will get here (if you read on) are the basic instructions for making a pasta dough, for rolling out the ravioli sheets and for filling the dough pockets. There is nothing very challenging technically, but it will require a little elbow grease and an hour or so at the kitchen counter.
Homemade Pasta Dough (this can be used for any type of fresh pasta, not only for ravioli)
This ingredients list is very loose, and you should play with the proportions until you get a nice soft and supple dough. If the dough is very firm and hard to knead – add more egg yolks or water. If the dough is too soft and sticky to knead, add a little more flour until you can work with it. Don’t worry about it much, as long as you can knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic then you will be better than fine.
- 3 cups of flour
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ tsp salt
- Enough water to make a smooth dough (if needed)
- Beat the egg yolks and add them and the salt to a mixing bowl already filled with flour. Use your hands and mix to form a dough. If you can’t get all the flour hydrated into a dough, add more water until you can form a nice firm but sticky dough.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and stretchy. Although you can roll out the ravioli sheets immediately, letting the dough rest for 20 minutes or more allows the proteins in the dough to relax and makes rolling much easier. Rest the dough covered under the mixing bowl so it won't dry out too much.
Rolling out the Ravioli Pasta Sheets
- OK, once you have rested your dough, tear off a bigger than golf ball smaller than baseball sized hunk. Flatten it out with your rolling pin and start to roll. The dough will be sticky, so you will need a bowl of flour on hand. Sprinkle a little flour on the table and on the dough and roll it firmly a few times. After a few good rolls, lift the dough sheet off of the counter and flip it over, adding a little more flour onto the counter and onto the dough sheet as necessary. Use as little flour as you can get away with, but always keep the dough sheet loose and sliding on the counter.
- Keep rolling and flipping and rolling and flipping until you get a dough that is paper thin. This will take a little while and a little effort, but it's worth it. You want to be able to see your hand through the dough when you lift it off of the counter. Don't worry if your dough sheet is irregularly shaped – it won’t matter.
Cutting and Filling the Ravioli.
OK, once you have rolled out a sheet of dough nice and thinly, give your rolling arms a break and cut out your ravioli shapes.
- I like to use a water glass as a mold (About 3-4 inches in diameter). Invert the glass and press down on the dough with the top of the glass. Trace a knife point around the dough until you have cut out a circle of pasta (cookie cutter style). Repeat, cutting as many pasta circles as you can from your sheet of dough.
- Take the scraps that you have cut from around the glass mold and add them back into your (Covered) dough ball for future rolling.
Filling the Ravioli
- So now you have a counter filled with cut-out circles of dough. In the center of each circle, place about a teaspoon of your filling. Use as much filling as you can get away with and still be able to close of the ravioli well.
- In a bowl, beat an egg and then using your finger, spread a little beaten egg around the outside of the pasta circle. This beaten egg is the glue that will seal the folded over pasta circle into a finished ravioli.
- Fold the pasta circle over the filling and press the top down into the bottom, crimping with your fingers to fuse the dough and form a seal. Try to work from one side to the other, squeezing the air out as you go.
- Once you have filled all your circles and crimped them into ravioli, place them on a floured baking sheet and start rolling your next ball of dough into a pasta sheet.
If you plan on making these in advance, place the baking sheet full of finished ravioli (in one layer only) in the freezer. Once the ravioli have frozen solid, you can transfer them into a Tupperware style container and continue to freeze them until ready to use. When ready to eat them, drop the frozen ravioli directly into boiling water for 4 or 5 minute, and then toss with sauce.
It takes work, this can’t be denied, but it's not very difficult and there is something sort of Zen like about rolling and filling a batch of ravioli – you get into the ravioli zone and kind of drift in the moment!
A perfect dish for a lazy weekend afternoon – and these are more fun when made with a partner.
See below for some links to recipe ideas for fillings and sauces for your homemade ravioli!
Video demo of ravioli making
Filled with Whatever You've Got!
Or just get a pasta machine!
- Ravioli recipes from Epicurious
- Fried Ravioli Recipe : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network
Food Network invites you to try this Fried Ravioli recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.
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