How to prepare a filled Ravioli

ravioli with a pesto sauce
photo by anna shaepulova, c/o www.123rf.com

Ravioli is a filled pasta that can contain a variety of sauces, mixtures from meat through to vegetables. It is highly versatile and often makes it’s way onto fine dining tables as a starter. If you want to make a good quality pasta dough then look for our article on this because it is easy to make. In this article we will include a classic recipe to make it just in case.

A good sauce for ravioli would be something like a good thick pesto.

Four sauces are offered below to fill the ravioli but they would work with tortellini and other filled pasta shape too.

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Equipment:

Ingredients for the pasta:

  • 2 or 2¼ cups unbleached Tipo ’00’, plain or all-purpose flour. The Tipo ’00’ is the authentic flour
  •  teaspoon salt (kosher, fine sea salt)
  • 3 large fresh egg yolks and 3 fresh eggs
  •  Semolina or cornmeal for dusting

Preparation Of The Dough Sheets:

  1. Combine the flour in a large bowl.
  2. Add the 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks.
  3. Combine mixture into a dough by mixing by hand. Create a well of flour and add the eggs to the middle and then just mix  and knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
  4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill whilst you make the ravioli filling  which takes approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the pasta using a pasta machine set up on its widest setting.
  6. Take a portion of the dough and flatten by hand or with a rolling pin before rolling it through the machine. 
  7. Continue to roll the dough from the widest to the thinnest setting, before folding it back into a thick square and re-rolling from thick to thin at least 8 times. The more often it is rolled the better the quality. The consistency and texture of the dough changes from rough to smooth.
  8. Once rolled sufficiently, place a long sheet of dough on your worktop and brush the entire length with whisked egg.

[1] Ricotta and Lemon filling

  • 250g ricotta
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme
  • 30g pine nuts

Preparation:

  1. Mix together the ricotta, lemon zest and herbs. Set aside.
  2. Split the pasta dough into 3 pieces and roll each one out into a large rectangle. It should be thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon 5 portions of filling onto each pasta sheet, leaving room between each for cutting.
  4. Fold the upper section of the pasta over the filling, gently pressing to create a seal. Using a knife or pasta cutter, cut out 5 sizeable ravioli squares  about 3 or 4 cm in width. Repeat with the other two pasta sheets.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully add the ravioli. Cook for 3 minutes before draining thoroughly.
  6. Serve up the ravioli immediately. If you have a sauce, place the ravioli either over the top of it resting like islands or drizzle over the pasta. 

[2] Mushroom and Ricotta filling

This filling was served at the first episode of series 13 of Masterchef UK and bowled the judges over. It was served with some shaved truffles and parmesan, and a sage cream sauce. It tastes brilliant and is worth trying out.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 sage leaf finely chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms 
  • 2tbsp ricotta
  • Salt and  pepper to  season the filling

Preparation:

  1. Heat a frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat.
  2. Finely chop your mushrooms and fry in this frying pan with oil along with the chopped sage leaf. Let the mushrooms brown, stir in the ricotta and season and leave to one side to cool.
  3. Now spoon a small amount (around 1/2tsp) of the mushroom mixture into the centre of the pasta. Wet the edge of the pasta square with egg wash and fold over to form a ‘letter’ as before.
  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully add the ravioli. Cook for 3 minutes before draining thoroughly.
  5. Serve up the ravioli immediately. If you have a sauce, place the ravioli either over the top of it resting like islands or drizzle over the pasta. 
  6. Add garnishes such as shaving of truffle and fried sage leaves.

[3] Beef filling

A great filling and one beloved by all those producers of canned ravioli because it goes so well with a homemade tomato sauce or an earthy marinara sauce. 

  • 1/2 lb. minced (ground) beef
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced (finely chopped) fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

  1. Heat a frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic and cook. Stir frequently, until the beef is cooked and the onion is tender.
  3. Drain off any excess fat and grease.
  4. Remove the frying pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, cheese, and salt. Mix well then stir in the egg.
  5. Transfer the beef mixture to a covered container and prepare the pasta dough for filling. The process is the same as in recipe 1.
  6. Split the pasta dough into 3 pieces and roll each one out into a large rectangle. It should be thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Spoon 5 portions of filling onto each pasta sheet, leaving room between each for cutting.
  8. Fold the upper section of the pasta over the filling, gently pressing to create a seal. Using a knife or pasta cutter, cut out 5 sizeable ravioli squares  about 3 or 4 cm in width. Repeat with the other two pasta sheets.
  9. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully add the ravioli. Cook for 3 minutes before draining thoroughly.

[3] Beef, Mushroom And Red Wine Filling

  • 1/2 lb. minced (ground) beef
  • 8 portobello mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms or a mix of both which are finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small glass of red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

  1. Heat a frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ground beef, onion, chopped mushrooms and garlic and cook.
  3. Add the red wine.
  4. Stir frequently, until the beef is cooked and the onion is tender.
  5. Drain off any excess fat and grease.
  6. Remove the frying pan from the heat and add a pinch of salt to the mixture. Mix well then stir in the egg.
  7. Transfer the beef mixture to a covered container and prepare the pasta dough for filling. The process is the same as in recipe 1.
  8. Split the pasta dough into 3 pieces and roll each one out into a large rectangle. It should be thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Spoon 5 portions of filling onto each pasta sheet, leaving room between each for cutting.
  10. Fold the upper section of the pasta over the filling, gently pressing to create a seal. Using a knife or pasta cutter, cut out 5 sizeable ravioli squares  about 3 or 4 cm in width. Repeat with the other two pasta sheets.
  11. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully add the ravioli. Cook for 3 minutes before draining thoroughly.
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