Making homemade ravioli is a real labour of love. Between kneading and resting the dough, rolling the long silky sheets of pasta, assembling the layers, encasing the filling, sealing, cutting and serving, these heavenly parcels of joy are worth every step. Together with Roberta, our head pastaia, we’ve put together a foolproof, step-by-step guide for how to make ravioli pasta, as well as a simple filling recipe to get you well on your way to perfecting this ancient art.
Top Tips For Beginners
Before we get started with making our homemade ravioli, it is worth mentioning a few things:
- Ideally, you’d make the dough the same day you plan to serve your homemade ravioli. If not, we generally recommend using it within three days.
- Homemade ravioli can be frozen for up to a month.
- As a general rule of thumb, for every 100g of flour, you’ll need 1 large egg. You can use this to scale the recipe accordingly.
- Stick to '00' flour. This finely milled Italian flour makes light, tender pasta. Exactly what we’re after for homemade ravioli.
- Tools you’ll need: a straight pasta cutter, fluted pastry roller or a square (or circular) ravioli cutter, rolling pin and pasta machine. Missing a few items? Check out our range of pasta-making kits.
Our Homemade Ravioli Recipe
Prep Time: 45 minutes
For the Dough
- 400g flour
- 4 large eggs
For the Filling
- 250g of ricotta
- 6 leaves of fresh basil
- Freshly grated lemon zest
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
With all that out the way, let's start.
Making the Dough
One of the best things about making fresh ravioli, and pasta for that matter, is that it requires minimal ingredients. To form the dough all you need is flour, fresh eggs and time. Start by making a mound of flour on a wooden board. From here, make a well in the centre to form a crater-like shape.
Crack the eggs into the centre and, with a fork, start whisking to combine flour and egg, slowly incorporating more and more of the flour from the edges of the crater as you go along until you’re left with a thick, gooey paste.
When the paste is formed and it starts to get a little bit too sticky to work with using a fork, use a dough scraper to incorporate more of the flour, collapsing and pushing the edges into the centre. With your hands, start pressing the mixture together to form the dough and knead for at least 10 minutes. Don’t be afraid to use some olio di gomito (elbow grease) as our founder, Alessandro, would say. Ramping up the pressure really helps the gluten bind to create that firm, elastic texture that we’re after.
To knead, drag the dough forward with your palm, using the other hand to hold it steady. Then pull the stretched dough back over, turn it around and start again. Repeat this process until you’re left with a firm, smooth consistency.
A good way of checking if you’ve kneaded the dough well is to press your finger into the centre. As you lift your finger away, the dough should spring back to take part of its original shape.
Wrap the dough in a tea towel (a nice environmentally friendly alternative to cling film) and set aside to rest for about 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Whilst some of the recipes you might have come across suggest refrigerating the dough, we’d advise against this. Why? Condensation from the cool environment of the fridge makes for an overly moist dough. While some moisture is good, too much will make it hard to pass through the pasta machine.
Making Our Homemade Ravioli Filling
While the dough rests, it’s a good idea to start preparing our filling. Scoop out the ricotta and place it in a bowl. Coarsely chop the basil leaves and grate the lemon zest. Add both to the ricotta and mix to combine. Scoop the ingredients into a piping bag with a spoon and you’re all set. Simple.
Rolling Out Our Pasta Sheet
Once rested, unwrap the dough, cut it in half and press it down with your hands, or a rolling pin, to flatten. Cover the other half with the tea towel to keep it from drying up and set aside. Traditionally, rolling the dough would be done entirely with a rolling pin, or a matterello. To make things a bit simpler, we’ll only be using a rolling pin for the initial ‘flattening’. We’ll let the pasta machine work its magic for the rest.
Passing Our Sheet Through the Machine
This point calls for the use of a hand-crank pasta machine. Set up your pasta machine, clamping it to a table, countertop, or sturdy cutting board. Set the dial to its widest setting. This usually corresponds to the highest number, usually 7. Feed the flattened sheet of pasta through the machine. Do this at least 3 times before moving onto the next setting, this time ever so slightly thinner. Repeat this process making your way from the thickest setting to the thinnest. If need be, dust the sheet of dough with flour to prevent it from sticking to the machine. You’ll know you’ve created the perfect sfoglia, or ready to use sheet of pasta, when you can see your hand through the sheet.
Cutting and Sealing Our Ravioli
Cut your sheet in half and lay both strips next to each other. Very slightly wet the edges of your strip of pasta with a pastry brush or by hand if need be. Using the piping bag, carefully squeeze the filling in a line down the centre of one of the strips about 2 inches, or 5cm, apart.
Place the other strip directly on top. Before sealing, gently press on the dough around the filling to eliminate any excess air. Next, very lightly moisten the dough with your hands (you can use a pastry brush here but there’s something to be said about using your hands) and press it firmly closed.
A good seal is important for keeping the filling inside so take your time here. Now take a square ravioli cutter (a wine glass works well for circular ravioli) and press firmly on the dough around the filling. Finish with a final dusting of flour to keep your ravioli from sticking together. Feel free to add some finesse here. #Flourbae.
Cooking and Serving
Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil. Carefully place your (fresh or frozen) homemade ravioli into the pan and cook for 3 minutes (4 if frozen). They should rise to the top by the time they’re ready. To serve, we’d recommend coating your ravioli in melted sage butter. Buon appetito.
Feeling inspired? Then why not give the recipe a try and take a snap of your creations. Don’t forget to tag us on social media with #pastaevangelists. Want to compare your fresh pasta with our handmade ravioli? Get 50% off your first pasta box by using code BLOG50 at checkout.