There is more to Italian cuisine than pizza and ice cream, and if you are interested in the traditional dishes of this beautiful country, you can’t skip this homemade Ravioli recipe! Every bite of it is a mouthful of flavors from signature snack ingredients and spice herbs, which will turn your weekend meals from delicious to perfect.
- 1 What is Ravioli?
- 2 Homemade Ravioli Ingredients
- 3 How to make ravioli at home?
- 4 Expert Tips for Homemade Ravioli
- 5 Homemade Ravioli FAQs
- 6 Savory Dishes to Try at Home
- 7 The Best Homemade Ravioli Recipe
What is Ravioli?
The origins of Ravioli
Most of the people, whom I treated with this dish, thought it was a kind of pastry or dumpling rather than pasta, and I suppose you can say that! The special thing about Ravioli is we use it as a wrapping for the cheesy filling instead of mixing them all up.
Ravioli originated from northern Italy in the 14th century as dumplings filled with cheese, herbs, and beaten eggs in a mild broth. The traditional ravioli are square-shaped, each side about 4 centimeters, and they weren’t served with tomato sauce until 2 centuries later when the New World introduced this ingredient to Italians. On Friday, vegetarian ravioli was a must on the dining table, and meat would be for side dishes.
After all the efforts of Chef Boyardee in the 1930s, canned ravioli became a thing in America, and you could always find it in the section of frozen food in the grocery stores.
You can already tell ravioli has many brothers (or sisters) in other countries’ cuisine. In Jewish culture, we have ‘Kreplach’. India also owns a dish named ‘Gujiya’, though it has a sweet stuffing. Last but not least, the very similar dumplings from China.
Nowadays, the recipe for homemade ravioli is extremely easy with commercial frozen ravioli or the pre-made crust for it. However, I still love to prepare my foods from scratch and make sure every step is done meticulously.
Homemade Ravioli Ingredients
- Oil & eggs: The moisture and flexibility of your dough come from these two supplies.
- Flour: I still stand with my favorite all-purpose, unbleached flour, but if you manage to grab some of the Italian ’00’ flour, it will be even better!
- Garlic: I have an unmovable belief that there is no tomato sauce without a good dose of garlic. As soon as the cloves simmer in hot oil, the whole kitchen is already buzzing with the irresistible smell, and when roasted, garlic tastes absolutely sweet.
- Oregano, basil, parsley: I like them as crumbs so they mingle well with the tomato paste.
- Salt, pepper, butter: They flavor the sauce and give it a standard scent for Italian food. I figure the butter offers enough fats and tenderness for me to leave the olive oil out of my sauce.
Ravioli can make a great combo with broth or sauce, and the filling differs for each region. The versatility I have with the filling is another reason for me to be stubborn! Here are some examples:
- Roasted beets with lemon zest and goat cheese
- Red peppers and parmesan cheese
- Toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and spinach
- Butternut squash and sage
- Sautéed mixed mushroom with truffle oil
How to make ravioli at home?
The tricky step in a ravioli recipe is rolling the dough thin and shaping the dumplings fast before it dries out. Even if you don’t have a pasta machine, making a batch of delicious Ravioli is still easy, and I will share my ultimate machine-free recipe with you!
Step 1: Prepare the dough
Mix in the ingredients and knead the dough before letting it ferment. Don’t be afraid to get your hands floured and sticky, all worth it!
Step 2: Prepare the sauce
Simmer the tomato with flavorings for 5 minutes only, if you don’t want a bad sauce.
Step 3: Prepare the filling
Get the cheese tossed well with the egg and herbs, it needs another 30 minutes in the fridge for the best quality.
Step 4: Shape and boil
Place even scoops of the filling on the rolled out dough and cut it into squares. Seal the homemade ravioli carefully before you cook them and finish them with a spoon of the sauce for serving.
Expert Tips for Homemade Ravioli
Tips for homemade ravioli dough
- The dough needs to be stretchy so you can pull and wrap it around the stuffing without ripping or cracking the texture.
- Thickness is another core factor. Your dough has to be thin, or the ravioli won’t be cooked well enough (our ravioli is made of 2 layers of dough if you have forgotten!). Once rolled out, the sheet should be almost transparent.
- I don’t have a specialty cutter for ravioli, thus I use my pastry cutter. However, a floured knife or a thin glass cup will cut the dough as fine.
We can’t use all pasta batters for ravioli, but ravioli batter always makes great pasta. Furthermore, we can tweak the tradition a little and create our optional shapes:
- Agnolotti: It has a slight curve that is able to hold any type of sauce you want to fill it with. I call it a sauce vessel.
- Raviolo: You would love it if you are whipping up a one-person dinner because a huge ravioli is material for satiety. Stuff it with a meatball of more veggies!
Tips for the best tomato sauce
- Surprisingly, tomatoes (and derives) are not the most important thing that determines how good the sauce is. Butter, garlic, spices (maybe some cheese too) are what give you the flavor.
- If you are a meat lover, it is more than fine to be greedy and toss in some proteins! The choices vary – sausage, bacon, ground beef, or pork – so pick whichever fits your liking!
- Don’t overcook the sauce. 5 minutes should be enough for a thick, delicious sauce without any soggy, wet crumb in it.
- Tasting the sauce while it’s cooking isn’t embarrassing! And it doesn’t make you seem like a noob either.
Homemade Ravioli FAQs
What can I put with cheese ravioli?
Can you bake ravioli instead of boiling it?
I suggest coating your baking pan and topping the dumplings with a flimsy layer of sauce before adjusting your oven to 350oC for 10 minutes. An important trick is you have to turn them halfway through.
How do you cook ravioli without breaking it?
Always keep your water simmering and not boiling, because excessive heat will break the dumplings no matter how well they were made. After getting the homemade ravioli out of the water, top them with tomato sauce right away.
Can I store my homemade ravioli?
Fresh, packed ravioli will last for several weeks, while homemade ravioli, unfortunately, will only stay with you for 2 days at most even with an air-tight container and a refrigerator, due to the perishable filling.
Savory Dishes to Try at Home
Let’s see how the homemade ravioli is done before you get to work! I thinkPrint
The Best Homemade Ravioli Recipe
A pasta dumpling made at home from A to Z can relieve you from the stress caused by dry store-bought dough and unlikeable sauce with no flavor.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Category: How to cook
- Method: Boiling
- The dough (fermented)
- 140g flour (all-purpose, unbleached, enriched)
- 30ml water
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp olive oil
- The sauce
- 2 tomatoes
- 4 garlic gloves
- 10g butter
- 100ml water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tbsp tomato puree
- 3g oregano
- 5g basil
- 3g parsley
- 2g salt
- 1g pepper
- The filling (refrigerated)
- 50g Mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- 2g parsley
- 1g oregano
- 1g garlic powder
- Salt & pepper (a pinch)
Make the ravioli dough
- In a large mixing bowl, heap your flour and spare a shallow in the center. Next, fill the little well with water and crack the egg (without letting any shell fragment in). Don’t forget the olive oil before you start mixing.
- Claw bit after bit of flour to the crater so you can ensure the flour absorbs the wet ingredients evenly. Be patient until you obtain a gooey paste.
- When you feel like it’s hard to move the mixing spoon, use your hand to push the edges to the center and knead with enough pressure. After all, we need the firm, stretchy texture!
- Flour your work platform and diligently turn the dough over and over, until you obtain a sphere. Let it ferment for 30 minutes with a towel or cling film covering it. I recommend leaving it at room temperature, as cooling might result in more moisture and potentially soggy dough.
Make the sauce
- Skin the ripe tomatoes and slice them into little dices with a sharp knife so you won’t have to grind and squeeze the juice out. While you are at it, chop the garlic cloves finely as well.
- In a nonstick pan, melt the cube of butter and simmer it with garlic. Once you catch the smell, add tomato then water to dilute the sauce a little.
- When the mixture bubbles, pour in tomato paste and tomato puree for consistency before flavoring the sauce with spice herbs.
Make the filling
- Use a grater to get your Mozzarella cheese in fine crumbs and mix in an egg along with chopped parsley.
- Mix in the rest of the spices as directed and cover your large bowl with a plastic wrapper. Let it rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Shape & Cook
- Lay the dough on a floured board and flatten it with your rolling pin. The thinner the dough, the better, and thus we need to be very patient (unless you have a pasta machine). Start from the center and roll it back and forth, until the sheet is nearly paper-thin.
- I mentally divided the sheet in half, yet you might actually draw a line for easier movement. Scoop the filling and put bits of it on one half, with a gap of your desired size in between (5 centimeters for me). Feeling lazy? Fill a piping bag with the stuffing and let it do the magic!
- Fold the untouched dough over the other and use your cutter (or knife) to cut the sheet into even squares. Take your time with pressing the edges with a fork because we need to seal the dumplings very tightly.
- Boil water in a saucepan and cook your ravioli in simmering water until you feel the dough soften. Let them dry before serving them on a dainty plate and topping them with the delicious tomato sauce (and mayhap a spice leaf!).
- If you press the center of the dough ball and it springs back to the default state, the kneading is good enough!
- When the cooking finishes depends on how you want the ravioli. The aforementioned agnolotti and raviolo should cook for 2 minutes and finish in the sauce. Meanwhile, lamb ravioli needs to be cooked the whole time then topped with sauce.
- Freeze the ravioli on a baking sheet first and put them in a sealed container for months of storage.
- Serving Size: Dish
- Calories: 993kcal
- Sugar: 14.8g
- Sodium: 1315mg
- Fat: 33.2g
- Saturated Fat: 15.3g
- Carbohydrates: 133.7g
- Fiber: 11.7g
- Protein: 42.3g
- Cholesterol: 338mg
Keywords: homemade ravioli
If you are feeling inspired after watching the video, hesitate no more and share the result with me after! I would love to know how much you enjoy my homemade ravioli recipe, and your subscription to the channel would motivate me to make more interesting videos!