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Basic Homemade Ravioli Dough Recipe
As mentioned above, the dough can be made extra special by the addition of added ingredients which not only adds flavour but also colour. There are many ingredients you can add to the basic dough recipe to give it extra flavour or colour.
For lots of ravioli dough ideas and recipes see Ravioli Dough Recipes .
The ingredients which can be used for ravioli fillings are endless including vegetables, fish, seafood, poultry, meat and cheese and you can easily make your own using your favourite ingredients. However, whichever ingredients you choose, there are three rules you should adhere to to ensure the finished ravioli is perfect:-
1. The filling ingredients should always be cut down to very small pieces so as to create a relatively smooth filling which will heat through in the short time it takes to cook the pasta. Using a food processor is recommended for vegetables, meats, fish, seafood and poultry.
2. Pre-cook fresh meat and poultry before using to fill ravioli. Most vegetables and fish used in fillings should also be pre-cooked and finely chopped or pureed. Items such as ham and smoked salmon can be used without further cooking.
3. Avoid using hot fillings when assembling the ravioli as the heat in the filling can soften the uncooked pasta making it difficult to work with.
Ravioli Filling Recipes
See Ravioli filling recipes for lots of stuffings using meat, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and cheese.
Once the filling is ready, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece
out on a lightly floured surface no thicker than
3mm/ ⅛th inch, turning and sprinkling with extra flour to prevent sticking or
tearing. Alternatively run each piece through a pasta machine, gradually
reducing the roller setting until the desired thickness is achieved.
Method 1 (easy)
1. Place a sheet of ravioli dough on a flat work surface then cut out an even number of shapes using a ravioli stamp cutter or biscuit cutter.
2. Place a small amount of filling in the centre of half the shapes, brush the borders with a little water, then top with the remaining pieces and seal together, making sure you don't get any air trapped. There should be a good 12mm/ ½ inch border of pasta around each bit of filling.
Method 2 (requires a little more patience)
Using Tray Ravioli Moulds – Place a sheet of rolled out pastry over the mould, depress into the holes, fill with a filling of your choice then top with another sheet of dough then using a rolling pin, firmly roll over the pastry which will cut into individual ravioli, usually with a crimped edge.
Using Individual Ravioli Moulds - Cut out a circle of dough to fit the size available, place on the mould, add the filling then close the hinged sides which will fold the circle in half, seal and crimp the edges.
Assembling and cutting by machine
Some pasta machines have an additional attachment specifically designed to make ravioli which usually fills and cut the ravioli. When purchasing a pasta machine, you are advised to double check that the model you are buying has a ravioli attachment as some of the cheaper models do not and for many models the ravioli attachment is sold separately. See your particular model for instruction
Fresh homemade ravioli only takes 4-6 minutes to cook so it is important that any sauce being served with the ravioli is made and ready to serve before you start to cook the ravioli. See below for information about sauces.
To cook fresh ravioli, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Use as wide a pan as possible to prevent the individual ravioli sticking together. If you are cooking a large quantity you may have to cook the ravioli in batches.
Once the water has come to a rolling boil, gently add the ravioli which will sink to the bottom. After a couple of minutes, the ravioli will rise to the surface after which time an extra 2-3 minutes cooking will be necessary. It's a good idea to test the pasta after 2 minutes to ensure it doesn't overcook and become chewy. Simply remove one and test the dough part. Whatever you do, don't puncture the part which covers the filling.
The exact timing will depend on how thinly the dough was rolled but like all pasta, ravioli should be cooked until al dente i.e. with a very slight bite to the pasta. Undercooked pasta is just as horrid to eat as overcooked pasta.
Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain well before serving. Serving ravioli in a shallow bowl is preferable as it not only helps keep it warm but also better holds the sauce.
Ravioli can also be cooked in stock for extra flavour and in parts of Italy it is traditional to cook and serve ravioli in a clear broth al brodo.
Sauces can be as simple or complicated, light or filling as you wish and the choice of sauce will greatly depend on the filling used. Although meat sauces are sometimes served with ravioli, it is wise to only so so if the filling is a lighter vegetable or cheese based one. See Ravioli Sauce recipes for lots of sauces for meat, poultry, vegetables and cheese filled pasta.
If the thought of choosing a suitable sauce to go with a particular filling seems a little daunting or time consuming, we've put together some complete ravioli recipes for your convenience. See the Ravioli Recipes page.
If you wish to freeze homemade ravioli, only do so before it has been cooked. Place the assembled raw ravioli on a flat baking tray, cover with clingfilm and freeze until firm so as to keep the pieces separate. Once completely frozen, they can be transferred to freezer bags or boxes.