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Easy Homemade Ravioli
Ravioli Made Easy with Homemade Dough
Once you have mastered the technique of making dough, your lasagna, tagliatelle, spaghetti and many other classic Italian pasta dishes will be the talk of the town. The secret is to get the dough perfect and the rest will fall into place.
Making dough for Easy Homemade Ravioli is not as hard as some would imaging. Get the technique right and you have opened up yourself to so many great totally homemade Italian dishes.
Honestly, once you learn to make pasta you will be hooked and want to make it all the time.
Easy Homemade Ravioli - Where to Begin?
What Flour to Use?
The ideal flour you need to make Easy Homemade Ravioli is TIPO '00' Grade Flour as it is extremely fine and perfect for any kind of pasta. This type of flour is normally used in cakes and egg based pasta. It is egg based pasta we will use to make Easy Homemade Ravioli.
In the country of origin (Italy) Tipo '00' flour is called "farina di grano tenero" which translates to mean soft or tender flour.
Easy Homemade Ravioli - Choosing the Filling
As with most foods it's all down to personal taste. So you may want to make up your own filling. Try to be creative, come up with combinations you personally like and try them out. Practice makes perfect.
What I do is use the remains of my Chili or Bolognese and use that as filling for my Ravioli. Some people stick their noses up at that but when they try it as a starter they love it.
But I have to admit my favorite filling is the classic Spinach and Ricotta. It's a winner every time.
Ingredients You Need to Make Dough
- 9 oz '00' Grade Flour
- 6 6 Large Organic Free Range Eggs
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 pinch Salt
Easy Homemade Ravioli - Making the Dough
- Pour the flour in a bowl or on a work surface. With your finger or back of a spoon, make a well in the middle of the flour and break the eggs into the hole. Using a fork beat the eggs until they have a smooth texture. Add the salt and olive oil.
- Using your fingers tips (you can use a spoon but it will get sticky and it's more fun with your hands) mix the eggs and the flour together. Do not do it all in one go, mix egg with a little flour once at a time and build up the mixture. When you are done everything should be combined.
- Now knead the dough together using the heel of your hand (the part of your hand between the bottom of your thumb and your wrist). If like me you think it's too wet, DO NOT add more flour, or if too dry add more egg. In time with love and affection the dough will come to life. This does take about 30 minutes to do so do not give up as the results will be amazing and just right for your Easy Homemade Ravioli.
- If you want to use a food processor? put all the ingredients in and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then knead this mixture as above
The Secret to Kneading Dough for your Easy Homemade Ravioli
The secret is that there is no secret. You simply have to bash the dough with your hands, pressing it into the table, reshaping and stretching, pulling and squashing.
It's quite hard work! But what it does is develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and "al dente".
When your dough feels smooth and silky to the touch you know the dough is ready. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap (cling film in UK) and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Now for the Delicious Filling - Spinach and Ricotta Filling
Now that you have your dough ready it's time to make that delicious spinach and ricotta filling.
As I said before you can use any filling you desire. As the spinach and ricotta is my favorite I thought I would share this recipe with you.
Once you have made the filling, your next step is to put this all together. I will show you how to roll out the dough with a Pasta making Machine. This truly is a wonderful invention.
I highly recommend if you don't already have one, to purchase one.
Ingredients for Easy Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 75g - 2½oz of chorizo
- 50g - 1¾oz aubergine, finely chopped
- 1 tomato,finely chopped
- 50g - 1¾oz - spinach, chopped
- 75g - 2½oz - ricotta cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions for Spinach and Ricotta Filling
- Start by heating the olive oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chopped aubergine to the chorizo and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the finely chopped tomato and spinach and add to the chirizo and aubergine cook for another minute.
- Remove the frying pan from the heat and stir in the ricotta.
- Season with salt and the freshly ground black pepper.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly leaving to one side.
Final Stage - Combing the Dough and the Filling
- Take one of the quarters and lightly knead it again so that it heats up and becomes pliable and stretchy again.
- Now put the dough through a pasta making machine, using the fist setting and move up to the smaller settings until you get the thickness you want. I always go to the thinnest setting as it produces better Ravioli.
- What you want to achieve are long lasagna type sheets of pasta.
- You will need two sheets, one for the top and one for the base of the ravioli.
- Get your filling and place teaspoonfuls of the Spinach and Ricotta filling 5cm/2in apart along the middle of one of the pasta sheets.
- You will need to lightly beat an egg in a bowl and brush the pasta, around the filling. Place the second sheets of pasta on top and press down around the filling sealing it. You can use a pasta cutter if you wish but I simply cut with a knife around the pods of filling making around 1.5 inch squares.
- Put all the ravioli onto a plate until ready to boil.
- Get a large saucepan and bring the water to boil, add in the Ravioli gently and cook for 5 minutes.
- Put into a serving plate and grate Parmesan cheese over the whole dish.
- Your Easy Homemade Ravioli is done... Enjoy.