I’m going to be honest with you; making ravioli from scratch kinda sucks. It’s an arduous process that requires precision and patience to knead the dough, mix the filling, seal each piece, cut, boil, sauce and plate. That’s why ravioli, from scratch, is not an easy weeknight meal. But I do not want you to stop reading, give up, and swear off ever making this wonderful treat. Instead, I want to get you excited about cooking with the company and assistance of friends and family at a ravioli cooking party! Here’s how to do it:
1. Have the right tools handy
If I’ve learned anything from dinner parties and catering it’s that you want a no-fail approach to present to company. With ravioli there’s a lot to consider: uniform size for each raviolo, the perfect amount of filling to make it plump, the right amount of moisture between layers of dough to create a seal, and cutting evenly to make them neat. The market is flooded with ravioli stamps and molds to make the process a little more consistent, but I’ve only found one tool to solve all of ravioli’s little problems. The Fonde Ravioli Rolling Pin allows you to tackle those steps in a single motion. As the video below demonstrates, with the 17″ or 7.5″ #RavioliRoller you spread a layer of filling between two sheets of pasta dough then firmly roll across the surface to create and seal neat pockets of filling. It’s also a gorgeous tool made of beautiful hardwoods by a company which promises to plant 100 trees for every tree used in production. There’s a bit of excess if your dough isn’t perfectly square, but that’s true of any ravioli method. In addition to the ravioli rolling pin you’ll need a good standard rolling pin to thin out the dough and a pasta cutter (or knife) to cut each raviolo free.
2. Make the dough before guests arrive
The most important tip I learned in practicing with ravioli a few times was to allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step allows the moisture from the eggs and water to be absorbed by the flour and moisten the entire ball of dough, thus reducing the amount of elbow grease needed to roll it thin. By making it before guests begin to arrive, there will be no dreaded pause in activity before everyone gets busy cooking. This also gives you a bit more control over the taste and texture of the finished product in case your cooking buddies are (honestly) unskilled or inattentive. If you want to leave no part of the process a mystery, you could make more dough while guests are present and it will be ready to use after the first batch is underway.
3. Assign jobs to each person in the kitchen
Rolling each half of the dough can happen at the same time as mixing the filling so divide the work into two separate stations and conquer. People can also take turns through each of the tasks that follow: spreading the filling on the dough sheets, rolling the Fonde Ravioli Rolling Pin, cutting the ravioli, bringing the pot of salted water to boil, cooking the ravioli in batches, slicing the radishes, melting down the butter sauce, tossing and plating the final product. By time everything is ready to eat each guest will have had their hands in making it and feel a real connection to the food.
Have I enticed you to have a ravioli party yet? With a big salad and free-flowing wine (or juice) this is fun times for all ages and a delicious meal. So, when you decide to gather everyone together, I want to hear and see how it turned out! Comment below and/or tag your posts on Instagram or Twitter with #RunawayApricot. Let’s have a party
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 4-6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese
- ¼ cup Parmeggianno-Reggianno cheese, freshly grated
- Lemon zest, from one lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ pound radishes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dough: Whisk together flours with salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of water. Pour egg mixture into flour little by little while mixing with a pastry blender to incorporate evenly. Begin to knead with your hand to bring all of the dough together in a single ball. In small increments, drizzle with up to 2 tablespoons more water, as needed, to collect remaining flour into the ball of dough. Knead dough for 5-7 minutes until soft and bounces back slowly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften and make easier to roll out.
- Filling: Stir together ricotta, goat cheese, Parmeggianno-Reggiano and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide dough in half, keeping half in the plastic wrap to prevent drying. With a rolling pin, roll dough as thin as possible into a rectangular shape. Cover with plastic while rolling out the remaining half of dough to as thin as possible while matching the shape of the first half. Spread filling evenly on dough, leaving at least ½ inch of dough uncovered along the edges and about ¼ of the dough uncovered at the back. Gently lay the the other half of dough on top, pulling to align the shapes. Start the ravioli roller along the broad line (darker wood on my roller) to seal the edge then firmly and evenly press to the other side. Cut into individual ravioli, removing any unstuffed dough from the edges..
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the temperature to medium high and drop in a serving of ravioli. Cook for 2-4 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon.
- Slice radish very thinly and place in a bowl of ice water to crisp. In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter with olive oil and water and season with freshly ground black pepper. When ravioli is cooked, toss gently in butter sauce. Plate about 6 ravioli per serving, topping with radish. Garnish with fresh herbs or microgreens.
- Trimmings from unstuffed ravioli can be lightly fried in butter sauce. Remaining stuffed ravioli can be frozen on a flat surface before storing in a freezer bag.