Tips & Techniques

Roll Out Ravioli as a Weekend Pasta Project

January 23, 2018

Pasta making at home seems like a daunting task, but with a minimum of two ingredients, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At its simplest, pasta dough is but egg and flour, one binds to the other to create a sticky, dense dough. Some recipes call for olive oil, others for salt, some for both—they affect texture and flavor but are by no means necessary. Start simple, learn what consistency of pasta dough you prefer, then explore, manipulate, and taste from there.

With pasta dough down pat, ravioli are a logical next step. Those small parcels of flavor, can lean delicate or robust. Make them at home and decide for yourself where on that spectrum they fall. Our contributor, Emiko, had this to say about the process: “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, then it's much easier to prepare the dough, not to mention quicker and more fun.”

Keep her advice in mind as you begin. The beauty of ravioli is that there are three avenues for flavor: the dough, the filling, or the sauce. Bend any, or all three, to your whims. For an extra convenient twist, make a bunch of ravioli and store them well wrapped in your freezer for up to a month. I'd recommend freezing them first spread out on a sheet pan, then combining them in a bag or storage container once they're frozen to avoid sticking. They’ll last a while in the confines of your freezer and when you’re ready, pop them directly into boiling water for a quick but surprisingly decadent dinner. You'll know they're ready when they float to the top. Here are a few iterations of the pasta bound packages to carry you through the week.

Color on the Outside

Fold pureed beets into the ravioli dough for a bright and exciting exterior.

Color on the inside

These casunsei opt for beets in the filling. The colorful stuffing has a stunning effect. Valentine's Day, anyone?

Go for a swim

Bathe your ravioli in broth for a soupy, comforting feel.

Nutty and soft

Ricotta fillings provide a firm but pillowy texture. Fill these, then freeze them to enjoy later.

Do the Twist

Citrus brings an unexpected levity to this inspired take.

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What's your ravioli of choice? Let us know your favorites in the comments.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Konky's C. January 27, 2018
I dont think we have favorites but we certain enjoy different fillings for sure!

I love making:
- a five-cheese blend with fresh herbs
- spiced pumpkin
- spiced butternut squash
- Italian sausage with cheese
- pureed beet with goat cheese

So many kinds!!!!
Windischgirl January 26, 2018
Recently made ravioli filled with preboggion (I used a mix of arugula, baby beet greens, and baby spinach), oregano, and mascarpone. Delicious and gone in a single meal. I now have another tub of mixed spicy baby greens from the CSA so may make a batch for the freezer. Mangia!