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.
How to make 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.
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 another 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 simmer, the ravioli will be less apt to break open.
We let the ravioli cook for about 3 – 4 minutes. If ravioli is frozen, cook a minute more. 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 up 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
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Homemade Italian Ravioli With Meat Cheese Filling
Homemade pasta filled with a spicy meat and cheese filling is just what you’d find at a local village restaurant in Italy. You can bring that experience home with you by making it yourself. Easy to make and delicious to eat. You’ll never buy ready made again.
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Homemade Italian Ravioli with Meat & Cheese Filling
MEAT CHEESE RAVIOLI FILLING
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 Tbs parsley chopped
- 12 oz beef chuck ground
- 12 oz pork sausage country style
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 Tbs olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup spinach leaves baby spinach chopped.
- 14 oz. all-purpose flour 3 1/8 cups
- 4 eggs large
- 1 Tbs olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
FOR THE MEAT RAVIOLI FILLING
- 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 refrigerated.) The filling will give you enough for a double batch -- making about 90 - 100+ ravioli. The filling can be frozen.
THE FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD
- Using the metal blade pulse the flour and salt together.
- Lightly stir the eggs and 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. This is a single batch --you'll need to double the dough to use up all of the filling.
- Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Gradually add eggs and oil to flour, mixing with a spoon. As the 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 rest for 30 minutes. Allowing the dough to rest will improve the texture of the dough.
TO COOK RAVIOLI:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. You want your water as salty as the sea.
- Add the ravioli in batches. About 10- 12 at a time. Don't overcrowd. Bring the water back to a gentle simmer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. If the ravioli is frozen, cook for an additional minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a serving dish. Continue cooking the rest of the ravioli. Serve with your favorite sauce or just with extra-virgin olive oil, butter, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
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