Making homemade Italian ravioli with meat and cheese filling may seem like a troublesome task because of the multiple steps, but the steps aren’t difficult and the process can be lots of fun.
When we make the little meat and cheese filled pillows, we plan on making a double and even a triple batch. This is Italian cuisine at its finest.
Make extra for freezing
They freeze beautifully and it’s wonderful having these delicious bites of pasta on hand when we’re too busy to make something special for dinner, or even if the unexpected company is coming.
All it takes is grabbing some out of the freezer, tossing them in boiling salted water for a bit,
and then covering them with a delicious sauce just waiting to be plated.
Making Italian Ravioli
Italian ravioli is a two recipe process, the filling and the pasta, with steps combining the two to make the finished pasta pillows.
Our first step is to gather the ingredients and prepare to make the filling.
We cook the meat, and once it’s cooled, we put the filling in the food processor and pulse it several times until the texture of the filling is fine.
It goes back into the bowl and then off to the fridge to firm up. The filling is so much easier to work with when it’s cold.
The second step is to make the pasta for the Italian ravioli in our food processor, we use our processor a lot! It makes doing a lot of little jobs so much faster. The dough is made in a matter of minutes. Once we’ve zipped, zipped the dough in the processor we let it rest covered on the counter.
By the time the pasta is made and has rested on the counter, the filling has cooled. The pasta is now ready to go through the roller. Both the pasta roller attachment and the ravioli maker were gifts from our kids — do you think they were hinting? 🙂
The third step is to pass the dough through the widest setting 4 times, folding the dough each time into thirds.
The dough becomes very pliable and durable as we continue to pass the dough through the thinner settings.
We continue until we reach the number 5 setting.
Putting Ravioli Together
We use about one teaspoon of filling for each little pocket. The ravioli form is so easy to use, it makes ravioli production extremely easy. You do have to be careful not to overfill, you want the edges to seal. If overfilled they may pop open when you put them in simmering water.
When we’re ready to seal the dough we start to press the rolling pin from the center to one end and then start from the center and go to the other end. The dough stretches , that way the dough stretches evenly.
We go over the top several times to make sure that the edges are sealed.
The extra pieces of dough that we cut off the edges we reuse by running them through the pasta roller. The dough is very forgiving and easy to work with.
The fourth step is to transfer the plump meat and cheese filled pasta to a parchment lined baking sheet.
As soon as we fill one baking sheet, we put it in the freezer and start sheet. Once the ravioli are frozen, we seal them in a freezer bags and then put the bags in freezer containers.
Preparing Italian Ravioli
Finally, we’re at the best part — preparing them to enjoy. We fill a pan with water, let the water come to a boil, salt the water, then gently slide the Italian ravioli into the water. Keep the water at a gentle boil, the ravioli will be less apt to break open. We let the ravioli cook for about 8 – 10 minutes. We use our spider to fish them out of the water and then we add whatever sauce sounds good.
These little pockets of flavor are so tasty and versatile. You can dress them with any sauce, even an Alfredo if you like. We’ve even deep fried them and had them as an appetizer. Believe me, they are so good I bet you can’t stop at one!
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima
Meat Ravioli Filling
A flavorful meat and cheese filling for the ravioli dough pockets. It’s a versatile filling that can be spiced up with hot pepper flakes and garlic or a different type of cheese can be added if you would prefer to make it “all your way”.
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3/4 pound ground chuck
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Fry the meat in olive oil until well browned. Drain the meat on paper towels.
- When the meat cools a little put it into a large bowl and mix in the chopped spinach, chopped parsley, beaten eggs and the rest of the ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Put the filling into the food processor bowl and pulse several times until the mixture is fine.
- Return the filling to the mixing bowl and refrigerate. (The filling is easier to work with when it”s refrigerated.)
- This recipe will make 90 – 100+ ravioli depending on how you fill the pockets.
A pasta dough that can be used for any type of pasta shape or dish. There isn’t any comparison to the store bought and the homemade. Every Italian dish is improved 1000% by making your own pasta.
- 14 oz. (3 1/8 cups) All Purpose Flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
We use the Food Processor Method
- Using the metal blade pulse the flour and salt together.
- Lightly stir the eggs and the olive oil in a measuring cup.
- With the processor running, add the egg/oil mixture all at once through the feed tube until a ball is formed then pulse several times. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch and should spring back when you press it.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball and place on a dough board or tabletop and cover with a bowl for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes you can make the dough into your preferred shape.
- Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Gradually add eggs and oil to flour, mixing with a spoon. As mixture becomes lumpy, begin to press together and knead with your hands. If mixture seems too dry and grainy, add one tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture holds together into a ball.
- Remove dough from the mixing bowl and begin to knead dough for 2 minutes on a lightly floured dough board or table top.
- Cover the dough with a bowl and let the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Allowing the dough to rest will improve the texture of the dough.
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