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Ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese filling, in tomato cream sauce

spinach ravioli cream sauce

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.

Ravioli with spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese filling in tomato cream sauce

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 and 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
salt

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.

spinach and ricotta cheese

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:

how to make spinach ravioli 2

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

ravioli dough rolling

filling ravioli dough with spinach mixture

closing with upper layer of ravioli dough

how to make ravioli

how to make spinach ravioli 1

how to make spinach ravioli

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.

cooked spinach ravioli

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.

cooking tomato sauce

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.

blending tomato sauce

blended tomato sauce with heavy cream

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:

I am sharing this recipe as one of “Sexy” dishes for February 2013 with Yahoo’s Shine Supper Club.

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{ 56 comments… add one }

  • Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine October 1, 2012, 3:04 am

    WOW! I am in awe. This looks amazing. I would really like to try this – alas I dont have the fancy gadgets, but I don’t have a ravioli mould. DO you think you could make it by hand?

    • Julia October 1, 2012, 11:09 am

      Thank you! That mould is not that fancy, it cost around 20 dollars (one of the cheaper items at William-Sonoma), which is why I bought it :). Yes, you can make it by hand too, using round shaped or square shaped cookie cutters or using a water glass as a mold to cut out squares or circles of pasta. Then you just press the edges together with your fingers. To make fancy edges, you can use a fork or ravioli cutter (pretty cheap, too, about $6).

  • Shea Goldstein October 1, 2012, 6:19 am

    That looks divine!! I’m going to buy a mold tray today – You made me want to make ravioli and I love tomato cream sauce. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julia October 1, 2012, 11:11 am

      Thank you! Yes, mold tray is very handy and pretty cheap too ($20). The pasta sheets should be rolled really thin (paper thin) to use the mold successfully.

  • Lois Christensen October 1, 2012, 8:40 am

    This is amazing. Thank you for the step by step instructions. I have made ravioli a few times and always have such a difficult time getting them OUT of the mold! I never dusted the mold with flour, so I will try that next time. Your recipes are so beautiful!

    • Julia October 1, 2012, 11:12 am

      Yes, if you dust the mold, ravioli should just fall out of it when you turn it upside down.

  • Choclette October 1, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Your pasta looks wonderful. I’ve never made my own before and am lost in admiration for those that do. The filling and sauce look so delicious, just the sort of meal I’d be very happy to eat.

    • Julia October 1, 2012, 5:45 pm

      Thank you! It’s really pretty easy to make. The only possible challenging thing in this preparation process is to roll the dough thin enough. And even that is conquered after you do it a couple of times. Everything else in this recipe is a breeze.

  • Julie October 2, 2012, 6:01 am

    Hi Julia! This looks AMAZING! I’ll have to make this soon. Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Mondays. I’d live to have you as a cohost. Please email me with the date you would like to co-host. thisgalcooks@gmail.com

  • Kara October 2, 2012, 6:11 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve made homemade pasta, but never ravioli because filling it seemed like a daunting task. I’m going to have to check into getting one of those molds, it looks so much easier. And they are so darn cute!

    • Julia October 2, 2012, 8:00 pm

      This device makes filling ravioli a breeze! It secures the edges, you don’t have to think about the size and the shape of your ravioli. I love it! Like I mention in the recipe, it is important to roll your dough really thinly to successfully use this ravioli mold.

  • sippitysup October 2, 2012, 11:11 am

    Vibrant and delicious I know. GREG

  • Lisa H. October 2, 2012, 7:19 pm

    fabulous… and love the colours, its calling out Summer food to me… which is soon :D

  • Winnie October 3, 2012, 6:27 am

    I’m speechless!
    This is one of the best post I’ve seen lately!:)
    This dish looks unbelievably appetizing, and it’s definitely calling my name

    • Julia October 4, 2012, 9:00 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 3, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Thank you so much for the step by step detailed recipe. I’ve got to try making ravioli from scratch sometime :)

    • Julia October 4, 2012, 8:59 pm

      The beautiful thing about making your own ravioli is the endless variety of fillings using whole and natural ingredients. I control what goes into my ravioli!

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 4, 2012, 8:00 am

    This ravioli looks amazing and so beautiful! I love that you made it from scratch! LOVE this!

    • Julia October 4, 2012, 8:51 pm

      Now I am thinking what kind of filling I should make next. :)

  • Judy | Bebe Love Okazu October 4, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Love love love ravioli but I have never tried to make it from scratch out of sheer laziness. Yours looks divine and I’ve been wanting to make a fresh tomato sauce. I recently made one out of canned plum tomatoes but it just isn’t the same. Lovely dish. :)

    • Julia October 4, 2012, 8:50 pm

      Thank you! Yes, freshly made tomato sauce beats sauce made from canned tomatoes each time, even though some tomato based pasta sauces are pretty good these days.

  • Julie October 6, 2012, 8:07 am

    Hi Julia!
    Just stopping by to let you know that I will be featuring this recipe on my blog this weekend. Thanks again for sharing on Marvelous Mondays. If you would like to co-host soon, let me know which date will work best for you.

    Have a great weekend!

    Julie

  • Michelle October 6, 2012, 10:22 am

    Oh my these look heavenly! I’ve only made homemade pasta once before, but I’m thinking I need to attempt it again. The whole recipe sounds amazing. I’ve never seen a ravioli mold before, that’s awesome!

  • Liz October 19, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Wow this looks absolutely amazing. Your pictures so colorful – it’s making my mouth water! I may have to give this recipe a try this weekend :)

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) November 4, 2012, 2:19 pm

    This ravioli looks like absolute perfection! I could eat a big bowl full of this right now :D

    (and I adore your blog, adding you to my Google Reader :P)

    • Julia November 4, 2012, 2:27 pm

      Thank you! I loved your blog and will be visiting yours more, as well! :) And again, what a cute name for a blog – Cooking Actress!!!

  • emma December 21, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Hi Jules!! been looking for ages for this kind of recipe and so happy i found it and sorry if i am being a numpty but how many people does this serve? i hope you get this in time, in the UK so hope the time line is working in my favour!!
    cheers Emma

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 5:15 pm

      I think I made 24 raviolis using this mold, and it resulted in about 4-5 servings. I am planning to make another ravioli recipe pretty soon, and will post clarification about how many it will serve.

  • Michel February 13, 2013, 5:08 am

    I literally just made pasta dough to make ravioli’s. I googled a search for spinach/cheese filling and found yours! I do own the ravioli mold-which is wonderful to have!!! I’m gonna try your spinach/cheese filling and cream sauce for tonight’s dinner!!!

    • Julia February 14, 2013, 5:08 pm

      Glad to have you stop by! Hope your ravioli comes out great! Spinach is such a great ingredient for ravioli filling.

  • Foodiewife April 13, 2013, 8:43 pm

    I have this mold, and it’s never been used. Now, I know where to get started. Great tutorial and beautiful dish. I can see why this has been pinned a lot!

    • Julia April 20, 2013, 12:17 pm

      Thank you! :)

  • Kari Kolda April 19, 2013, 4:20 pm

    I am making this recipe and I was wondering if I could store the dough overnight?

    • Julia April 20, 2013, 12:16 pm

      Yes, you could refrigerate the pasta dough overnight, and when you’re ready to use it, let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, allowing it to get to the room temperature. However, you can’t store the pasta dough in the refrigerator for longer, because it will turn unappealing gray color.

  • Chris May 27, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Julia: Your recipes look great..just wanted you to know that your images have broken links and are not displaying.

    • Julia May 28, 2013, 6:54 pm

      Chris – thanks for stopping by! I just checked this post and all of my images are displaying. Are you talking about my other posts? If so, could you let me know which post does not display the images? Thank you!

  • Janka September 1, 2013, 9:27 pm

    Made this tonight and it was beautiful! didn’t change it a bit..absolutely lovely! Only wish I had a pasta mould as cutting each ravioli by hand and filling was a bit of a pain. Guess I know what I’ll be asking for come Christmas time :-)

    • Julia September 1, 2013, 10:49 pm

      Very glad that you liked it :). I LOVE this pasta mold! It’s so easy to make ravioli with it! And, it’s only about $20 – a good investment and a time saver! The sauce is amazing too – very Italian!

  • Kylee December 10, 2013, 5:10 am

    hi, thank you for the recipe. I just made this sauce for our dinner tonight and wow what a smashing flavour of tomato very intense but yummy, I also added cracked pepper and parmesan cheese

    • Julia December 13, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Kylee, so glad you liked it! Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper are a must over this dish!

  • BethKaiser March 7, 2014, 10:33 am

    Look forward to seeing more of your recipes. Plan to cook today !!

    • Julia March 10, 2014, 3:20 pm

      Thank you! I hope you will enjoy them! :)

  • Jessie March 19, 2014, 11:48 pm

    This is a great recipe!! I just made it tonight…simple ingredients, simple process, how wonderful! Thank you….one of the best recipes I have found on Pinterest.

    • Julia March 28, 2014, 3:32 pm

      Jessie, thank you for such a sweet comment, WOW! :) I am glad you enjoyed the recipe, and I also think the process is pretty simple – ravioli-making is not really as complicated as it may seem. :)

  • Diane April 12, 2014, 10:55 am

    I made this last night for friends and it was FANTASTIC!! I’m still daydreaming about how good it was. A couple notes……I doubled the ravioli filling because I have my own dough recipe that I knew would make 48 raviolis and I planned to freeze half. I did not, however, double the spinach and it was perfect. I did everything else exactly like instructed and MAN….I even impressed myself! My go-to recipe for company from now on. We are trying your Asian Salmon and Noodles tomorrow and I’ll be using fresh-made pasta that I froze last week. I am new to pasta making (like literally just started last week) and am amazed how easy it really is. And so worth the effort for how much better it tastes.

    • Julia July 7, 2014, 11:15 pm

      Diane, thank you for such a sweet comment! I am so happy you enjoyed this recipe! I was surprised how easy it was to make pasta dough for ravioli (but I have not made pasta noodles from scratch yet, and it always REALLY impresses me when other people can make actual pasta noodles from scratch).

  • Teris April 13, 2014, 12:53 pm

    will unbleached flour work?

    • Julia July 7, 2014, 11:15 pm

      Yes, it would, the ravioli might look a little darker, but it shouldn’t be even that noticeable.

  • Kathy June 13, 2014, 6:47 am

    I have yet to make the ravioli’s. There really just hasn’t been enough time in my days, BUT… the sauce… OMG!!! I absolutely adore it. I wanted something different and found myself buying spinach ravioli and was lost for what sauce to serve it with. I looked and looked for a recipe and found this one. It was so incredibly easy, amazingly delicious, and won over my family. This sauce makes a regular appearance in this house. THANK YOU!!! And one day, I will attempt the ravioli. :)

    • Julia July 7, 2014, 11:18 pm

      Kathy, thank you for your sweet comment! I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the sauce! I am very flattered to hear that this sauce “makes a regular appearance” in your house. :)

      • Tami July 28, 2014, 2:14 pm

        I was looking for a good filling recipe for ravioli and found this one on Pinterest to go with my marinara sauce I keep making because of my garden bounty of tomatoes. I love my sauce but am looking forward to trying yours another day. I do have the mold and love it. I found it at Marshall’s for around $17. It makes a great gift in a basket with canned sauce, recipes and a fresh loaf of homemade bread! I also bought a SMALL stainless scoop because ravioli is so easy to overfill and takes all the joy out of it trying not to explode your pasta! One last thing if I may, if you have a kitchenaid, the pasta roller and cutter set is well worth the investment. It rolls your dough for making sheets for lasagna, ravioli, bowties, etc. and the cutters are fabulous for noodles and spaghetti!

        • Julia August 7, 2014, 2:56 pm

          Tami, I am glad you came over to my site, and I hope you tried this recipe! I am jealous because you have your own garden! I want my own garden so badly but I don’t have space, neither do I have time. I love the ravioli mold too (it makes things so easy), and I’ve been wanting to get ravioli cutters as well, just never got around to it. I have big plans about making my own pasta (using European flour no less! :) ) so soon I might be getting that pasta roller and cutter set you’re talking about. Thank you for the tips! :) You’re right – it’s so important not to overfill ravioli – through practice, I’ve learned to place just enough ravioli filling so that it’s leveled with the flat side of the ravioli mold, and the mold actually gives you a good idea on just how much filling is needed.

  • Natalie July 28, 2014, 3:14 pm

    Can you make the raviolis a day or two ahead of time? How long will they keep without needing to freeze?
    Thanks!

    • Julia August 7, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Natalie, I’ve never kept uncooked ravioli refrigerated – I don’t think they will keep well that way. You can do 2 things:

      1) Cook ravioli and then refrigerate cooked ravioli – they keep well for 4-5 days!

      2) Freeze uncooked ravioli right after you make them. This way you can store them for up to 2 months (to preserve freshness), and to cook them – you just throw them in the pot with boiling water. I used to make fresh ravioli and freeze it right away, only to cook it the next day. Works beautifully!

  • Nina September 11, 2014, 9:06 am

    On the flour for ravioli, is that a cup and a 1/4 or is that eleven/4?

    Thanks
    Nina

    • Julia September 11, 2014, 2:46 pm

      That’s 1 and 1/4 cups – I corrected the wording so that it’s 100% clear now. :)

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