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How to Make Ravioli

Jump to:-      Equipment  |   General Tips  | Basic Ravioli Dough  |  Flavoured Ravioli Dough  |  Ravioli Fillings  | Assembling and Cooking Ravioli  |   Ravioli Sauces  |  Ravioli Recipes  | Freezing Fresh Ravioli


Although ready made ravioli can be easily obtained in fresh, frozen and even tinned forms, it is likely that the choice will be limited. With homemade ravioli, your choices are endless and only bound by the confines of your own imagination.


Not only is the choice of filling and sauce unlimited, but the pasta dough can also be enhanced with the addition of extra ingredients. So, between the three elements, it is possible to create unique ravioli recipe to suit your own tastes.



Equipment Needed


Making ravioli dough is as simple a making any other pasta, and can be done in just 15 minutes with no specialist equipment needed. There is however, some equipment which can make cutting ravioli easier.


For more information see Ravioli Equipment


General Tips for making Ravioli


There are three basic steps to making Ravioli


1.  Make the Dough

2.  Make the Filling

3.  Assemble and cook the Ravioli


In addition, in most cases a sauce will also be made to serve with the ravioli.


Each of these steps are dealt with in detail below however there are a few general tips which it's important to follow to ensure your ravioli turns out well

  • Do not make individual  ravioli much larger than 7.5cm/3-inches square or diameter

  • Whilst rolling out the first piece of dough, keep the remaining dough covered with clingfilm or a damp tea towel to prevent it drying out

  • Do not overfill your ravioli as fresh pasta only takes 4-7 minutes to cook so the filling should be able to heat/cook through in that amount of time.

  • Ensure you have a good 12mm/ ½ inch border of pasta surround the filling

  • Dampen the pasta around the filling with water before placing the final sheet of pasta on top (or folding over depending on which method you use) as this helps to seal the two pieces of pasta together

  • Expel as much air as possible when sealing the ravioli as this will prevent any trapped air expanding during cooking which will cause the ravioli to burst. Try to get the pasta touching the filling on all sides.

  • Once the ravioli are assembled, place in a single layer on a lightly floured tray or surface and allow to dry out at room temperature for 10-20 minutes before cooking, shaking off any excess flour if necessary before cooking

  • Always use plenty of water and as wide a saucepan as you can. Bring the water to an even rolling boil before gently adding the ravioli. Don’t boil too fiercely or overload the pan. If cooking a large quantity, cook in batches

  • Once the parcels have risen to the surface of the cooking liquid, cook for a further 2-3 minutes 

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Basic Ravioli Pasta Dough Recipe


Basic Homemade Ravioli Dough Recipe

Serves 2

175g/6oz Plain Flour
2 Medium Eggs, beaten
A little water

Serves 4

350g/12oz Plain Flour
3 Large Eggs, beaten
A little Water


1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl, make a well in the centre then add the beaten egg and mix with a knife until the mixture starts coming together, adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of water if necessary to form a relatively stiff dough.

2. Knead briefly in the bowl, then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead for about 4-5 minutes until very smooth and elastic.  A good indication of the correct texture is when you can knead the dough with very little flour on the work surface without it sticking.

3. Wrap with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 10-20 minutes during which time you can make the filling.

Flavoured Ravioli Dough Recipes


As mentioned above, the dough can be made extra special by the addition of added ingredients which not only adds flavour but also colour.   There are many ingredients you can add to the basic dough recipe to give it extra flavour or colour.


For lots of ravioli dough ideas and recipes see Ravioli Dough Recipes .


Making the Filling

The ingredients which can be used for ravioli fillings are endless including vegetables, fish, seafood, poultry, meat and cheese and you can easily make your own using your favourite ingredients.  However, whichever ingredients you choose, there are three rules you should adhere to to ensure the finished ravioli is perfect:-

1. The filling ingredients should always be cut down to very small pieces so as to create a relatively smooth filling which will heat through in the short time it takes to cook the pasta. Using a food processor is recommended for vegetables, meats, fish, seafood and poultry.


2. Pre-cook fresh meat and poultry before using to fill ravioli. Most vegetables and fish used in fillings should also be pre-cooked and finely chopped or pureed. Items such as ham and smoked salmon can be used without further cooking.


3. Avoid using hot fillings when assembling the ravioli as the heat in the filling can soften the uncooked pasta making it difficult to work with.


Ravioli Filling Recipes

See Ravioli filling recipes for lots of stuffings using meat, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and cheese.


Assembling and Cooking the Ravioli


Once the filling is ready, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface no thicker than  3mm/ th inch, turning and sprinkling with extra flour to prevent sticking or tearing. Alternatively run each piece through a pasta machine, gradually reducing the roller setting until the desired thickness is achieved.

Assembling and cutting by hand

Method 1 (easy)

1. Place a sheet of ravioli dough on a flat work surface then cut out an even number of shapes using a ravioli stamp cutter or biscuit cutter.


2. Place a small amount of filling in the centre of half the shapes, brush the borders with a little water,  then top with the remaining pieces and seal together, making sure you don't get any air trapped. There should be a good 12mm/ ½ inch border of pasta around each bit of filling.


Method 2 (requires a little more patience)
1. Place a sheet of ravioli dough on a flat work surface then place teaspoons of the filling 5cm/2-inches apart in rows 5cm/2-inches apart keeping the rows as straight as possible both vertically and horizontally, to aid the cutting process.

2. Brush the 2nd sheet of pastry with water all over then place, dampened side down over the sheet with the fillings then using the side of your hand or your fingertips and starting from the centre working outwards,  press the top piece of dough firmly onto the bottom piece between the mounds of filling, expelling as much air as possible. There should be a good 12mm/ ½ inch border of pasta around each bit of filling.

3. Cut into squares using a sharp knife dipped in flour, a pastry wheel, fluted pizza cutter or into 5cm/2-inch circles using a biscuit cutter.


Using Tray Ravioli Moulds –  Place a sheet of rolled out pastry over the mould, depress into the holes, fill with a filling of your choice then top with another sheet of dough then using a rolling pin, firmly roll over the pastry which will cut into individual ravioli, usually with a crimped edge.


Using Individual Ravioli Moulds -   Cut out a circle of dough to fit the size available, place on the mould, add the filling then close the hinged sides which will fold the circle in half, seal and crimp the edges.


Assembling and cutting by machine

Some pasta machines have an additional attachment specifically designed to make ravioli which usually fills and cut the ravioli.  When purchasing a pasta machine, you are advised to double check that the model you are buying has a ravioli attachment as some of the cheaper models do not and for many models the ravioli attachment is sold separately. See your particular model for instruction


How to cook Ravioli

Fresh homemade ravioli only takes 4-6 minutes to cook so it is important that any sauce being served with the ravioli is made and ready to serve before you start to cook the ravioli. See below for information about sauces.


To cook fresh ravioli, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Use as wide a pan as possible to prevent the individual ravioli sticking together. If you are cooking a large quantity you may have to cook the ravioli in batches.


Once the water has come to a rolling boil, gently add the ravioli which will sink to the bottom. After a couple of minutes, the ravioli will rise to the surface after which time an extra 2-3 minutes cooking will be necessary. It's a good idea to test the pasta after 2 minutes to ensure it doesn't overcook and become chewy.  Simply remove one and test the dough part. Whatever you do, don't puncture the part which covers the filling.


The exact timing will depend on how thinly the dough was rolled but like all pasta, ravioli should be cooked until al dente i.e. with a very slight bite to the pasta. Undercooked pasta is just as horrid to eat as overcooked pasta.


Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain well before serving. Serving ravioli in a shallow bowl is preferable as it not only helps keep it warm but also better holds the sauce.


Ravioli can also be cooked in stock for extra flavour  and in parts of Italy it is traditional to cook and serve ravioli in a clear broth al brodo.


Ravioli Sauces 

Sauces can be as simple or complicated, light or filling as you wish and the choice of sauce will greatly depend on the filling used.  Although meat sauces are sometimes served with ravioli, it is wise to only so so if the filling is a lighter vegetable or cheese based one.  See Ravioli Sauce recipes for lots of sauces for meat, poultry, vegetables and cheese filled pasta.


Complete Ravioli Recipes


If the thought of choosing a suitable sauce to go with a particular filling seems a little daunting or time consuming, we've put together some complete ravioli recipes for your convenience.  See the  Ravioli Recipes page.



Freezing Fresh Ravioli


If you wish to freeze homemade ravioli, only do so before it has been cooked.  Place the assembled raw ravioli on a flat baking tray, cover with clingfilm and freeze until firm so as to keep the pieces separate. Once completely frozen, they can be transferred to freezer bags or boxes.



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