Homemade Ravioli


I’ve (finally) started playing with my new Italian kitchen. I don’t know why I’ve always been a little bit afraid of making pasta. It’s something I’ve thought about, held in the back of my mind, waiting for….someday. Then my cousin showed up with a pasta machine, pasta drying rack, and a ravioli maker one day a few months ago. He got the whole kit and kaboodle for a mere $25 from the thrift store–and all brand new, never used, still wrapped up.

Then I stared at it for a few more months and finally tried it out! And, of course, it was easy, and I had to wonder why I waited so long. It’s also really cool. A pasta machine is such a toy. I’d never even heard of a ravioli maker before. I saw someone make ravioli on a TV show recently and they just rolled out the dough and did it all manually, which works fine, I’m sure, but the ravioli maker makes it a little easier and it’s fun! (If you want to get one, just put “ravioli maker” in a search engine and you’ll find them.)

I used the recipe from the package insert–it’s just a standard egg dough that you could use for all sorts of pasta. The fun part starts when you stick it in the machine!

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How to make Homemade Pasta:

3 cups flour (all-purpose or semolina)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Combine all the ingredients (except for water) in a medium-size bowl. Mix together as best as you can then start adding water a little at a time. I find that about 1/3 cup water works for me. Use just enough water to get the mixture to hold together and form into a ball. You’ll have to get your hands in there and knead it until you have a firm but pliable dough.

Set the ball on a floured sheet of wax paper and cut in two halves.

Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel and let rest for 30 minutes then cut the halves in half again so that you have four pieces.

From this point, you can roll it out by hand to make ravioli manually, or use a pasta machine and ravioli maker.

Making pasta is a mess so clear off plenty of space to work. My pasta maker has a clamp to attach it firmly to a counter or table.

The pasta maker is so much fun, have I mentioned that???

Take one quarter of the dough and smush it out into a flat rectangle. Using the fattest setting on the machine, run the dough through.

My machine has a dial on the side that sets the thickness.

Fold it over. Turn the setting one notch thinner and run it through again.

Repeat, running it through one more time, a little more thinly.

This is like Play-Doh and the little contraptions where you could stamp it out in different shapes. A pasta machine is like a grown-up Play-Doh play set.

The other side of the pasta machine, by the way, is the side with the cutters. It comes with the spaghetti and fettucine cutters. I’d love to get the lasagna attachment! But I can still make lasagna, or any kind of pasta, by using the side that rolls the pasta out in a flat sheet. You can cut it by hand however you like from there.

If you’re using a ravioli maker, spray the ravioli maker pieces with oil so the pasta won’t stick.

Lay one sheet of dough over the cutting plate.

Press the forming plate down on top of it to make the little wells.

Remove the forming plate and voila.

Fill it up with whatever you want–so far, I’ve just been using a simple cream cheese and herbs mixture since my focus was more on just learning to use the pasta machine and the ravioli maker than on concocting filling recipes. (And cream cheese and herbs is really good, anyway!)

Using more dough as needed and rolling it out through the pasta maker, add a second sheet of pasta on top. Roll firmly with a wooden rolling pin to seal and cut through the dough.

The dough will pretty much tear away after that, though you might have to lightly encourage it with a knife in any spots where it’s sticking.

Turn the cutting plate over and the ravioli will slide right out. You can push out any recalcitrant pieces.

Cut apart any pieces that are stuck together.

Stash the finished ravioli pieces on a lightly greased baking sheet while you continue to prepare the rest.

You can cook the ravioli right away, or freeze it–it freezes really well and is handy to take out on busy nights. I’ve tried baking and boiling the ravioli, and boiling works much better for me. Add a cream or tomato sauce, and you’ve got dinner.

Next up in my pasta adventure–spaghetti and fettucine! First I need to put together my pasta drying rack. I took it out of the box and it looks like this:

See this pasta recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 23, 2010  

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17 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-23

    Can’t wait to try the recipie> Looks so good.

  2. 7-23

    I love making things from scratch and the ravioli looks delicious but it sounds like so much work. Have you figured how much time is involved in the whole process?

    My older sis does them from scratch and without a pasta machine and she keeps encouraging me to try it.

    Probably if it was a bread, cake, pie or cookies, I wouldn’t hesitate!

  3. 7-23

    I have been doing this for a while. Your dough looks a little wet but I don’t use the egg recipe, I use 1 cup semolina and one cup all purpose plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I add warm water till its firm. My favorite filling so far has been sausage and fresh made ricota cheese.
    Word of warning I have the cutting machine and it is a 3 hand process.

  4. 7-23

    Gen, there’s some oil residue on the ravioli because of the oil coming off the ravioli maker, so that’s why it looks wet.

  5. 7-23

    Well, you made that look easy!

    LOL! on putting the drying rack together….mine’s together, but it’s in the craft room working there! You can really only use it in the winter…too humid in the summer! I started making those bird nests with the noodles and spaghetti noodles and just plop them in the freezer. Been wondering about the dehydrator, though…

  6. 7-23

    My oldest daughter and I will be over for dinner tonight. Thanks! Ravioli sounds great! Just kidding. It looks great!

  7. 7-23

    Instead of oiling the ravioli maker I always lightly flour after each pass through the pasta maker, it will not stick and they come apart easier.

    Good recipe for cheese ravioli’s

    1 lb. Ricotta
    a good size handful of Parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    Small handful of fresh chopped parsley
    2 cloves of chopped garlic
    pinch of salt.

    Mix and fill ravioli.

    I like to freeze mine before cooking. I think that they cook more evenly. I always have a big batch in the freezer.

  8. 7-23

    I was wondering about the freezing of them and other fresh noodles. Do you cook them first or leave them uncooked? Vacum seal or just zip lock? We just end up eating it all over the weekend, but I would love to have some that I could use during the week for quick meals.

  9. 7-23

    Gen, I’ve been freezing them uncooked. I used a ziploc baggie. I put them in the freezer spread in a single layer on a baking sheet first and got them slightly frozen then bagged them up–so they wouldn’t stick together. Then I put them straight in the boiling water from the freezer.

  10. 7-23

    MMM very intersting post but believe I shall pass on trying making ravioli and spaghetti. Of late I have been trying to make noodles for soup etc and if you could see how horrible mine look (they taste good) you see that I still need to practice making them before I advance onto something more advanced.

  11. 7-23

    Ah, with all the eggs and homemade cheese this is a natural for you, Suzanne. The pasta drying rack is great. Dry them just a little bit until they aren’t sticky, throw into a bubbling sauce for just a few minutes and you’ve got heavenly fresh pasta. If you leave the spaghetti or linguine on the rack until it drys thoroughly you’ve got your homemade version of the familiar product you get in stores but better. Put the dried sticks of pasta in an airtight jar and they’ll keep forever. You can make all kinds of special flavored pasta using spinach, or basil and oregano, or lemon-pepper flavored. I’ve even seen fruit flavored pasta and chocolate pasta. Gourmet shops in this area sell this for BIG BUCKS.

  12. 7-23

    I read your blog every day and also your articles in our local paper. You amaze me with your knowledge of food and life in general. You are an asset to West Virginia.

    Stop by my blog at yellow6347.wordpress.com and hear some of my West Virginia tales.

  13. 7-23

    Hey Suzanne!

    I want to adopt your cousin as my own! He’s a keeper! :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :happyfeet:

    Angela :wave:

  14. 7-24

    All that for $25??!! What a score. I’m going to try butternut squash ravioli. Tell you cousin that he can go shopping for me anytime.

  15. 7-24

    :snoopy: Another pasta lover! It is so fun isn’t it? Like bread making, you start with just plain ingredients, and with just a little effort, you have something wonderful. On the cutter for lasagna, it is a 3 hand job. I found an odd handheld gadget at the local kitchen store, looks like a pizza cutter, but it has bar on the end that has three positional blades. You can cut up to 6″ wide with two (one pushed all the way to one side, two pushed all the way to the other side). Just lay your sheets flat and roll away. They cut a wavy edge, use it for pie lattice as well.Place in college served one that was vegetarian. Cabbage and potatoes filling, and no egg dough. Used to sell out before supper everyday they made them. Served with a brown butter and sage (I think) dressing. Dessert rav. Cream cheese and strawberry jam for filling. Cook as usual, let dry until very dry. Fry, then dust with powdered sugar. Sounds stupid, but it’s good. Oh, and to whoever asked about using your food saver on them, don’t! They’re too delicate, it crushes them to smithereens. I know from experience unfortunately. Viva Italiano!

  16. 7-24

    Suzanne, you did a beautiful job on the ravioli. I can’t wait to see your fettucini and spaghetti!
    I think my favorite filling is cheese; then you can serve vegetarian or your choice of Italian sausage or meatballs.

    When I make fettucini or angel hair; I hang them to dry on 2 clean dowel rods from the hardware/home improvement store; resting over the back of the kitchen chairs. You could also just use clean broom or mop handles.

    For lasagna, I roll out the sheets and trim with a fluted wheel (there’s probably an “official name” for such a tool, but I don’t know it!). I also use the sheets to make a “tube” filled with cheese.

  17. 7-24

    I have my dad’s old noodle cutter, it’s like a pizza cutter only there are about 6 little round blades on it and you roll it over the dough. I have one of those fluted edge rollers too, and you can do your ravioli in one big sheet, drop your filling spaced apart, lay your second layer of dough on top, press out the air (VERY important!) and run the flute-r across and down and not waste any dough. Excess dough can be rekneaded and rolled again. Great fun, and not as time consuming as you would think. I do the initial kneading in my bread machine.

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