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.
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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!