A Lighter Twist on Ravioli

May  5, 2015

Every Tuesday, Italian local Emiko Davies is taking us on a grand tour of Italy, showing us how to make classic, fiercely regional dishes at home.

Today: The perfect, punchy little ravioli dish.

Shop the Story

I recently strolled through my favorite market in Florence and came across some intriguing ravioli all'arancia—small squares of ravioli holding a delicate filling of ricotta and orange zest. I was immediately hooked

These orange-scented ravioli are a bit of a twist on very basic ricotta ravioli, and they are really as simple as can be. So simple, in fact, that you don't want to dress these ravioli with anything that will overpower the orange filling. You can eat them simply with some olive oil and Parmesan scattered over the top, or, for those who love their orange, add a few drops of orange juice and some very thin strips of orange zest, which give a bit of color. This recipe would also work very well with your other favorite citrus fruits—blood oranges, lemon, or clementine, in particular. 

More: Another humble ravioli from Emiko—this time with beets.


Don't be daunted by the thought of making your own ravioli. It's really pretty straightforward, if a tad fiddly your first time. If you don't have a pasta machine, just use a rolling pin—you'll need a bit more elbow grease, but it works just fine. Also, enlist the help of someone else—if you've got four hands, it's much easier to prepare the dough, not to mention quicker and more fun.

With such simple recipes and clear flavors, it goes without saying that you should go for great, quality ingredients. For the ricotta, seek out the very fresh kind that you can buy by the weight at a deli—it's firmer, less watery, tastes better, and will hold really well as a filling. For the oranges, go for ones without a waxy coating and preferably organic; the orange's skin is what is delivering the flavor here, after all. Finally, dress with good Parmesan, grated right at the table. And that's it—the perfect, punchy little ravioli dish.

Orange and Ricotta Ravioli

Serves 4

For the pasta:

1 2/3 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 medium eggs 
Pinch of salt

For the filling and assembly: 

14 ounces (400 grams) fresh, firm ricotta 
1 cup (100 grams) grated Parmesan cheese 
1 egg, separated 
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Strips of orange zest, for garnish
Juice of half an orange
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

See full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emiko Davies

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • rmg1975
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.


rmg1975 May 7, 2015
This looks delicious! My wife and I were wondering what would be some ideas of other dishes to serve with this?
LeBec F. May 6, 2015
Interesting! I have long been an orange fan and my first reaction to your ricotta and orange ravioli was "of course! sauce them with a light marinara!" This is because one of my 2 marinaras has orange zest in it- a technique I learned from local chef school founder Roberta Dowling. The major role that oranges play in Italian cuisine- makes perfect sense when you come to know the history of Sicily long being colonized and owned by Arabs, who brought oranges and pine nuts (++) with them! Thx for the inspiration, emiko.