I had to ask permission to post this recipe today to make sure I wasn’t unveiling any family secrets. My mother gave me her blessing to share, so here goes! These homemade ravioli are going to blow your mind. They definitely are a labor of love and take a few hours to make from start to finish. But trust me when I tell you that they are well worth the work.
How To Make Homemade Ravioli
This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation on the Italian side of my family. My Great Grandmother, Nonna, used to make these in her home in Piacenza by hand, no KitchenAid back then, and laid these out on her bed to dry in her tiny little apartment. I was so excited over the holidays to make these so that I can take pictures of the process in a way that we’ve never been able to capture them before. This tradition happens every year in our family.
Around Thanksgiving, we all wake up nice and early and create our little assembly line to make these ravioli. Everyone has a job, Dad’s job is to handle the dough, my sister usually running the sheets of dough back and forth to Mom and me to stuff with filling. There’s always some fighting, yelling and lots of laughing, but it makes for the best memories together as a family.
Traditionally these are eaten on Christmas with Italian sausage, Giardiniera and a big salad. Christmas Eve is always shrimp parmesan and a big bowl of linguini. No changes, no substitutions, this is how it’s done in our family every single year. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.
What You Need
- KitchenAid Mixer with the pasta attachment and your dough hook
- Ravioli Maker (we use this one)
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowls
For The Dough – Make Two Separate Batches Of Dough
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (may need more if the dough is too dry)
For The Filling
- 2 packages of cooked and drained spinach
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion
- Handful of parsley
- Garlic – roughly 5 cloves
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz whole ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese – a handful
- Salt & Pepper to taste
This recipe will yield about 200 or so ravioli. Depends on how much you fill them, and how thin you want to roll out your dough.
Steps To Make Homemade Ravioli
Step One Make The Stuffing
The stuffing for our ravioli is not your traditional cheese or solely meat. Since we are from Northern Italy, it’s traditional to fill your ravioli with meat, cheese and spinach. I can’t even stomach a cheese ravioli, reminds me of the Olive Garden and there’s no way you’ll ever go back after trying these. *You can make the stuffing a day or two ahead of assembling.
- Cook and drain spinach
- Fry onions, parsley and garlic and set aside in a large bowl
- Brown meat and drain – add to bowl
- Add all ingredients together and mix
Step Two – Make The Dough & Roll It Out
Mix all dough ingredients together in a KitchenAid with the dough hook. You’ll want to slowly add water until you get it to the right consistency. Not too sticky, not too dry. Then repeat this step as you need TWO batches of dough but it will not fit in a mixer all at once.
Once you have your balls of dough, you’ll then use the pasta maker attachment and start rolling out your sheets. Cut small chunks out of the dough, roughly 4.5 to 5 ounces of dough, and begin feeding it through the widest number (#1) on the attachment. You’ll then move up the numbers to make the sheets thinner and thinner as you go. Just one pass through each number is fine. We usually stop at #5 for the perfect thickness. Too much dough, and the filling are no longer the star of the show. Too thin, and these babies fall apart into a mess, a delicious mess, but a mess.
Step Three – Fill Your Ravioli
We use these ravioli makers to help make the ravioli uninformed. It makes the process go more quickly. Simply place the long sheets of pasta you rolled out on top, leaving the extra to go over the sides and laid out on the table. Gently fill the ravioli with your filling. Roughly 2 tsp of filling. We don’t overfill ours because they tend to break when you cook them. Once filled, fold over the extra pasta on top and press down with a rolling pin a few times. Finally, turn the ravioli form over onto a big sheet (we literally use a bed sheet or tablecloth specifically for this).
Step Four Let Them Dry
If you aren’t going to eat them right away, let these dry on the sheet for about an hour or so. Keep in mind there’s meat and cheese inside, so don’t go beyond 4 hours or you run into foodborne illness issues. Also, if you want to freeze and store them, simply place them on a baking sheet with some cornmeal in a single layer and freeze. Then once frozen, transfer to a ziploc bag.
Step Five – Enjoy Them!
We boil ours in salted water until they float. This only takes a few minutes. Then we top ours with homemade meat sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This recipe makes quite a bit of ravioli. They freeze well and only take minutes to boil. You may find yourself with extra dough left over. Use the other pasta attachments to make fresh pasta if you like! This is always our favorite part of ravioli making day.
How To Serve Homemade Raviolis
Everyone has their preference for sauces, but in our house, it’s meat sauce all the way. You can do a bolognese if you like. Here’s my recipe, but our family meat sauce is actually quite different. It’s less meat, more sauce and we only use spicy Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Be sure to layer your ravioli in a big pasta bowl with sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese. You don’t want these bad boys sticking together. They’re quite delicate and will break if they’re just stacked on top of one another without any sauce.
When determining how many to make, a good serving size is anywhere from 12-25 depending on who’s eating and how hungry they are. They make for great leftovers either way.
How To Store Homemade Raviolis
This recipe makes an awful lot of ravioli. But they freeze really well in a Ziploc bag. Eat within 6 months of freezing. Easily cook from frozen in just a few minutes!
Serve with a big salad, a fresh baguette and wine. Enjoy!
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