I was originally planning to post a light-hearted and easy recipe about how to make a yummy plum drink, but Photograzing Community at SeriousEats.com was hosting an event this weekend, and I promised to post a recipe there. So I changed my mind and instead of making a simple plum drink, I took an endeavor of making fresh pasta ravioli from scratch. Here is my recipe featured on SeriousEats Weekend Cook and Tell: Fresh Pasta. Very exciting!
Even though the below recipe has many steps, making fresh pasta ravioli is actually pretty easy, especially because you have a very detailed tutorial that I created below. I have created and tested the below recipe, to make sure I have the exact proportions for the ravioli dough (pastry), so if you follow my steps precisely, you will create a wonderful ravioli dish that will impress your family and/or guests.
The most important part here is to roll your ravioli dough very thinly – that’s the secret to great tasting ravioli! To roll it thinly, the dough should have just the right proportion of water to flour, which I denoted in my ingredients section below. It is important to let dough sit for an hour, covered in plastic wrap, so that the gluten does its job, and the resulting dough is nice and elastic enough for you to work with.
And, finally, I think it’s great to learn how to make your own ravioli, because then you can endlessly experiment with fillings instead of just buying what grocery stores offer you. I am personally never impressed with the selection of pre-made ravioli in stores, so that’s primary reason why I learned to make my own.
How to make it from scratch: Ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese filling, in tomato cream sauce
Prep time: 50 min
Cook time: 60 min
Ingredients for step 1: making ravioli dough from scratch. This is enough to make dough for 12 raviolis, using the mold (ravioli mold makes 12 ravioli). If I am making 24 ravioli, I’ll simply repeat this:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1) Mix flour with salt.
2) Stir water with egg until well mixed.
3) In a bowl, combine flour and egg-water mixture together and mix until well incorporated. Knead the dough until well-textured and firm. The dough should not be too wet or too sticky. It should only stick to itself, but not to your hands. However, it should not be too dry, either. Make the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand for 1 hour at room temperature before using. This allows gluten to work. You will be using this dough in the instructions that follow below:
Ingredients for step 2: spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 big package spinach (20 oz)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp salt
Ingredients for step 3: tomato cream sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 big tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
5 sprigs thyme or more
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 grape tomatoes, yellow and red
This recipe makes 24 ravioli, using the mold (which, I assume, uses regular sized ravioli shape).
How to make ravioli cheese filling:
1) Heat olive oil on medium heat, add spinach and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilted, about 15 minutes.
2) Cook for 5 or 10 more minutes uncovered until all liquid evaporates.
3) Chop cooked spinach finely and move to a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese, salt to taste and mix well. Add more salt if necessary.
4) Divide the ravioli dough (instructions on how to make ravioli dough from scratch are above) into 2 equal halves and roll each half into a very thin sheet with a rolling pin. Make sure to have flour on hand and dust the working surface or rolling pan when necessary, because the dough will be sticky. It’s important that the ravioli dough be rolled very thinly (paper-thin), otherwise ravioli will be too solid when cooked, because dough expands during cooking. Also it will be really hard to use the ravioli mold if the dough is not thin enough.
5) Once you rolled sheets of dough, shape individual raviolis. To shape ravioli, I use a very handy device, Ravioli mould/tray, which works great! I purchased it at William-Sonoma, you can see the picture of it below:
6) Here is how to use Ravioli mould:
- dust the working tray with flour
- lay a thin layer of pastry on the tray
- press in the holes
- fill the holes with the filling, without overfilling
- cover with another layer of ravioli dough, which should lay flat all the way across the mould
- using the rolling pins or your fingers, press, close and cut the ravioli
- overturn the tray to let the ravioli come out
- below photos illustrate these steps
You can take the scraps of the dough and add it to your covered dough for future rolling.
6) When you are done shaping ravioli, bring a big pot of water to boil, add ravioli and cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Or, alternatively, freeze ravioli until you’re ready to cook them.
How to make tomato cream sauce:
7) Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Chop tomatoes and garlic and add to the pan. Cook covered for about 10 minutes until tomatoes soften.
8) Add white wine and chopped thyme. Bring to boil and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes until half of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat, let it cool for a bit.
9) Then transfer to blender and puree the tomato mixture. Transfer the puree back to the pan, reheat to medium heat and add heavy cream. Stir until well incorporated.
10) Cut each grape tomato in half and add all of them to the pan with the tomato cream sauce. Salt to taste and and more chopped thyme if needed. Cook for 5 more minutes.
To serve, add cooked ravioli to the sauce at the last minute. Allow both ravioli and the sauce achieve same temperature. When serving on plates, garnish with thyme.
More ravioli recipes:
- Pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce and pecans
- Ravioli with goat cheese and spinach filling in parmesan cream sauce
I am sharing this recipe as one of “Sexy” dishes for February 2013 with Yahoo’s Shine Supper Club.