Monday, June 27, 2011

Making Ravioli From Scratch

Have the tides turned? Why can't I pull myself away from blogging savories? Well...I'm blaming it on winter and trying to stay away from the sweet things a bit more now that bubs is well on the way. Besides, I found an amazing recipe and I'm super proud of the result. Okay, first I have a few confessions to make. Two whole years ago my darling brother gave me a pasta maker for an engagement gift--and its been sitting unused in the cupboard. I really did have the best intentions, it just never happened. Secondly, I'm a sucker for pasta/ anything Italian. I just cant help myself.
So the other day I was cutting recipes out of magazines and came across this one in a 2007 Better Homes and Gardens Mag. It was a basic recipe for making ravioli and I knew then and there, I just had to do it! I made my own filling and pasta sauce because the recipe one sounded boring. IT WAS SCRUMPTIOUS!
Its probably not something you'd do every day, pasta making. Its so cheap to buy that most people probably would never ever even think of making it from scratch. It was special though and well worth the time to create. It would be the perfect meal to make with your husband or better half--I believe cooking together is a great bonding activity and gives so much pleasure. It would also make the pasta making process go a lot quicker, as two hands make light work! So go on, get your hubby in an apron...I swear you'll both enjoy it!


2 1/2 cups plain four
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup virgin olive oil

Sift flour and salt into a large glass bowl. Make a well in the centre with the dry ingredients, and break each egg into the well. Add oil. Using your fingertips, gradually blend the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Continue to blend little by little until a thick dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave dough on surface, cover with the mixing bowl and leave for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling of your choice. (I used 200g cooked chicken, 2 cups of baby spinach, 150g pumpkin and cashew chunky dip and a little salt, garlic and lemon juice for mine. Process until fine in a blender)

Cut the dough into six even portions. Knead each into a ball, then pull the balls into long ovals. Using a lightly dusted rolling pin or you pasta maker, roll out each until thin and even (about 50 cm long and 10-12 cm wide.)

Cover strips with a clean  tea towel to prevent drying out. Don't layer the strips as they will stick. Cut circles out of the rolled pasta dough. mound a teaspoon of filling into the centre of each and brush the edges with a little water. Fold in half to create a crescent shape. press the edges together with the end of a fork. Place on a clean tea towel.

When all pasta has been used, prepare a large saucepan of salted water on the stove top. Bring to a slow boil and add pasta, 6-8 at a time for 3-4 minutes until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean tea towel. Continue to cook the others in such batches.
Prepare a sauce. (I used about 1 cup of cream, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup diced bacon and some salt, boiled over a low heat) Add all the ravioli parcels to the sauce and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Serve.
Serves 4.

NOTES: a rolling pin is a good substitute if you don't have a pasta roller. You can also freeze the ravioli for up to a month, uncooked. Add to boiling water frozen, and cook for an extra 3-4 minutes.


  1. Beautiful Louise! I like to share some history to the recipe:
    Although no-one can be sure when Ravioli were first made, the earliest written mentions appear in 14th century manuscripts including pieces by Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato, Tuscany and in a Venetian manuscript which had a ravioli recipe consisting of chopped blanched green herbs mixed with beaten egg and fresh cheese which was simmered in broth – a very traditional way of eating ravioli (al brodo) which is still observed today.

    References have also been found dating back to mid 16th century Rome when Bartolomeo Scappi served them to the papal conclave of 1549.

    There is a long tradition of serving vegetarian ravioli in Italy, particularly on Fridays and during Lent, when the eating of meat was prohibited.

    Traditional Italian fillings include ricotta mixed with grated cheese and vegetables such as spinach or pureed vegetables although, as with many recipes, location also had a bearing on the type of ravioli made e.g. seafood ravioli being popular in the costal areas of Italy and they were traditionally served with melted butter and/or grated cheese.

    Serving ravioli with tomato based sauces didn’t start until the 16th century when tomatoes were introduced to Italy from the New World.

    It may seem surprising, but Ravioli were also known in England by the 14th century and were mentioned in a cookbook which was compiled around 1390 by the master-cooks of King Richard II called The Forme of Cury listed as "rauioles".
    Thank you for your idea of mixing charity & necessity! God Bless you!

  2. wow, thank you for the lovely bit of history on ravioli! who would have known it has such a rich and beautiful past!

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