John D Lee is a chef and restauranteur living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He's always loved to cook.
Is it Easy to Make Ravioli?
Homemade ravioli is a fantastic special occasion treat. It tastes great and is a lovely base for your fun filling ideas. Your homemade creation may not look professionally perfect, but I think that's all part of the charm. However they happen to look, ravioli rolled on your kitchen counter will always impress.
You can find a zillion recipes for fillings and sauces, so I won't go into any detail on that front. This article will cover the following:
- Basic instructions for a pasta dough
- How to roll out the ravioli sheets
- How to fill the dough pockets
You can make homemade ravioli in your kitchen tonight. You probably have the ingredients you need on hand, and if you have a rolling pin, you have all the fancy equipment you need. There is nothing very challenging technically, but it will require a little elbow grease and an hour or so at the kitchen counter.
Homemade Pasta Dough
The ingredient list is very flexible, and you should play with the proportions until you get a soft and supple dough. If the dough is very firm and hard to knead, add more egg yolks or water. If the dough is too soft and sticky to knead, add a little flour until you can work it. As long as you can knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, then you will be better than fine.
What You'll Need
- 3 cups flour
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Water, as needed
- Fill the mixing bowl with flour.
- Add beaten egg yolks and salt to the bowl.
- Use your hands and mix to form a dough. If you can’t get all the flour hydrated into a dough, add more water until you form a firm but sticky dough.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and stretchy.
- Although you can roll out the ravioli sheets immediately, letting the dough rest for 20 minutes or more allows the proteins in the dough to relax. This makes rolling much easier. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap when you rest the dough so it won't dry out too much.
Step 1. Roll out the Pasta Sheets
- Once you have rested your dough, tear off a chunk that is bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball.
- Flatten it out with your rolling pin and start to roll. The dough will be sticky, so keep a bowl of flour on hand. Sprinkle a little flour on the table and on the dough and roll it firmly a few times.
- After a few good rolls, lift the dough sheet off of the counter and flip it over, adding a little more flour onto the counter and onto the dough sheet as necessary. Use as little flour as you can, but always keep the dough sheet loose and sliding on the counter.
- Keep rolling and flipping until you get a dough that is paper-thin. This will take a little while and effort, but it's worth it. You want to be able to see your hand through the dough when you lift it off of the counter. Don't worry if your dough sheet is irregularly shaped—it won’t matter.
Step 2. Cut the Dough
- I like to use a water glass as a mold (About 3-4" in diameter). Invert the glass and press down on the dough with the top of the glass. Trace with the knifepoint around the dough until you cut out a circle of pasta (cookie-cutter style). Repeat, cutting as many pasta circles as you can from your sheet of dough.
- Take the scraps and add them back into your (covered) dough ball for future rolling.
Step 3. Fill the Ravioli
- In the center of each circle, place about a teaspoon of your filling. Use as much filling as you can get away with and still be able to close the ravioli well.
- Beat an egg in a bowl. Then, use your finger to spread a little egg on the edges of the pasta circle. This beaten egg is the glue that will seal the folded pasta circle into a finished ravioli.
- Fold the pasta circle over the filling and press the top down into the bottom, crimping with your fingers to fuse the dough and form a seal. Try to work from one side to the other, squeezing the air out as you go.
- Once you have filled all your circles and crimped them into ravioli, place them on a floured baking sheet and start rolling your next ball of dough into a pasta sheet.
Step 4. Store/Cook the Ravioli
- If you plan on making these in advance, place the baking sheet full of finished ravioli (in one layer only) in the freezer.
- Once the ravioli have frozen solid, you can transfer them into a Tupperware-style container and freeze them until you're ready to use them.
- When you're ready to eat, drop the frozen ravioli directly into boiling water for 4-5 minutes, and then toss it with sauce.
Now you have a perfect dish for a lazy weekend afternoon! These are more fun when made with friends. Enjoy!
Amelia on April 06, 2013:
How many does it serve? I need to feed 4 people
lydia on January 16, 2013:
Such good memories, as a little girl our great grandmother lived wih us and I remember her sitting at the table making homemade raviolis. The grandmother in this video reminded me of her.I going to make homemade raviolis today. Thank you!!!
non member on December 05, 2012:
I'm sure it's just my settings ...BUT...I see no option to print the recipe
Sue on May 10, 2012:
I must admit that is pretty amazing and inspirational recipy and video! Thank you very much for this! xxx
Suzie on May 08, 2012:
A great video... I miss so many of our deceased relatives & friends though even more now who used to LOVE to cook such great Italian food, etc....
Such a good job; Bella!
Bonoh1 on March 16, 2012:
Oh wow! I feel like I have been allowed to learn a precious family secret! I cannot wait to try this! Thank you thank you thank you!
Samantha on March 15, 2012:
Im kind of nervous about making this for the first time, but its been something that I have been wanting to do for a while now! Looks like I will be giving it a try tommorow, seems how a lot of people said it turned out great. Thanks for the tips and recipes!!
Audrey Howitt from California on March 04, 2012:
You have inspired me!
Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on March 04, 2012:
Ravioli is my ultimate favorite especially if it's made with a three-cheese feeling. Eating it sends me to some blissful place! Stumbling upon your hub makes me wonder if I can do my own version of three-cheese ravioli at home... And with your clear directions, I think I'd be able to manage.
Thank you very much for coming up with this hub. Voted up and shared this one! :)
T on January 29, 2012:
I tried to make them last night, but the dough just wouldn't roll out. I even had my husband 6 foot plus try it and he gave up to. Very sad.
TroubleJo on December 26, 2011:
I made ravioli for the first time. I wasn't happy with the dough. It was tough, not like my mom's, that used to melt in my mouth. I am thinking I didn't knead enough, I didn't know what the dough should look like. Any suggestions. I am thinking of buying a pasta machine, but money is low. I did enjoy them, but missed my mom's.
Sara in Washington on November 23, 2011:
My son requested homemade ravioli for his 11th birthday. It's late and tomorrow's Thanksgiving, but your instructions and video make it seem do-able. Thank you for your very sweet write up and video!
Pasta lover on November 18, 2011:
I always believe that homemade food is fresher, healthier and always be delicious.
katie on November 08, 2011:
This is really good! i made it with moose meat instead and used herb and garlic cream cheese as a sauce!
Patricia in Canada on August 09, 2011:
I have another tip to roll the dough to do the ravioli: roll a long rectangle large enough to include the filling and to be able to flip the empty part of the dough over it. Before flipping the dough, but water or beaten eggs between the filling. Cut between the ravioli one the other part of the dough is flipped. Press each side of the ravioli to seal (with your fingers or fork).
Vineaux's Mom on June 21, 2011:
Much appreciated several years after your post! I just bought a bag of Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour and have been too timid to approach making ravioli - until now! I don't have a pasta machine so will use the rolling pin. I appreciate the idea of using the reserved semolina flour to dust the board, etc. Can't wait to make them tomorrow!
-Renee in Oregon
Emmanuela on May 31, 2011:
Thanks so much. And as a bonus from your video, I am now fluent in Italian.
fred the Obscure on May 07, 2011:
I have just been given an Atlas roller with ravioli attachment - and no instruction book! :(
I managed to roll dough out, yet the ravioli cutter thing was a nightmare, and abandoned fairly quickly.
Any body with any idea on how to use it?
Although, after watching the video it doesn't look difficult to do it by hand.
Thank you for any input. I'll keep an eye onnthis site for comments,
Fred the Obscure,
Durban, South Africa.
Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 04, 2011:
Wowooo, what an interesting article you shared in here. Thanks fro writing this, i enjoyed it a lot.
Kody on March 26, 2011:
Thanks for the great recipe!!! I love to cook so this turned out great!!!
Callum on March 10, 2011:
How many does it serve?
Kevin on February 19, 2011:
Not bad. Made a crab filling. The ravioli was firm and very good.
John D Lee (author) on February 15, 2011:
That's a great ravioli making tip, Tracy - thanks!
Tracy on January 29, 2011:
Great dough recipe. I roll the dough in to a large circle, spread filling , fold in half , then use a large wood yard stick to form raviolis. Just cut on the lines. Saves a lot of time and turns out great
Blair on January 06, 2011:
This looks like fun. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration.
patty on December 31, 2010:
No, do not use self-rising flour. I use 1 part semalina flour to 2 parts all purpose. Semalina can be bought at any ethnic store. It makes the pasta more firm. If you can't find semalina, all purpose will work fine. If your dough is pastey it's too wet...add four. The firmer the dough the better it is to work with. A pasta machine works best...I put my final thickness to 6.
Susan on December 16, 2010:
Fabulous! I have been making homemade ravioli for Christmas Eve dinner for quite a few years and I enjoy everything about it except making them on Christmas Eve day! Now I feel confident that I can make them ahead of time.
Ray on November 13, 2010:
should i use self-rising flour or all-purpose flour for the dough?
Maiaa on November 10, 2010:
My mom won't let me make some... How long does it take???
gordo's friend on October 11, 2010:
yep, im afraid to try mine....better looking than the other recipe i tried....sorry it tastes like elmers glue, hope mine isn't the same way :( :)
gordo on October 11, 2010:
worked but tasted like elmers glue
Jenny on July 09, 2010:
I didn't even have time to watch the video, but just following the instructions, my ravioli came out perfect!! Only needed to boil about 2 minutes. I don't have a pasta machine so had to roll by hand, and the entire process only took a couple of hours.
dantemom on April 02, 2010:
Great video. Makes me miss my grandmother and Aunt Nettie. I'm making raviolis for Easter and it was good to actually watch someone do it to get a "feel" for how it's done.
Great family document for future generations, too. Well done. Some of the smaller titles were difficult to read, btw, but well done nonetheless.
Andy C on January 19, 2010:
Worked like a charm thought I would highly recommend a pasta machine to roll - very time consuming. My first time and it was off the hook.
apricotmousse on January 11, 2010:
Informative hub. Thanks for sharing those simple tips to make ravioli.
John D Lee (author) on July 25, 2009:
If boiling fresh ravioli - all you need to do is heat the filling and cook the noodles, which only takes 2 or 3 minutes, depending on how thinly the pasta was rolled and how thickly the ravioli was stuffed. I find the best way is just to fish one ravioli out of the pot after a couple of minutes, to taste for doneness.
Robyn on July 25, 2009:
How do we cook it if we are not planning on making them ahead of time. If they are not frozen, do I still boil them for 4-5 minutes?
samanthagardner from Palm Beach Gardens, FL on July 23, 2009:
This hub makes me want to go cook. Thanks!
louise on June 01, 2009:
Watching the video brought back old memories to when my gandmom did the same with her ravioli. Thank you, and thank your grandmom for being so kind.
dorbledog from Spokane, WA on February 13, 2009:
I need to try that sometime. I have a great idea for a ravioli filling, and a sauce, but I just need to sit down and do it sometime.
christine almaraz from colorado springs on January 07, 2009:
I've always wanted to try to make homemade pasta but it always seemed a bit intimidating. Your hub makes it look pretty easy so I'm gonna give it try. I bought a pasta roller that I've never used...no time like the present! Thanks for the instructions.