Homemade Ravioli, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Rolling Pin

Though I’m a huge proponent of my stand mixer and pasta roller attachments, I know many of you don’t have room, time, or inclination to pull the trigger on those purchases just yet. That’s why I’m so happy to have intrepid contributor Rebecca Peters-Golden walk us through her homemade ravioli recipe—which she does without any electrical assistance whatsoever. Yes, from-scratch ravioli are within your reach!

I think that nearly everyone who loves to cook—even those of us who enjoy complicated projects when the mood strikes—have a culinary kryptonite or a baking bête noir. You know, that one thing that you’ve never made because it’s intimidating or it seems overly complicated. Mine has always been ravioli. I love to eat it, sure, but it has always seemed so . . . fussy (or potschke, as my grandparents would say).

ravioli in sage butter sauce
So how did I conquer the beast? Well, wine, of course—and the power of friendship. My lovely friend T and I decided that we were going to crack open a bottle a bottle of Pinot and rid ourselves of our homemade pasta virginity. And you know what? It didn’t hurt a bit. To the contrary, it’s pretty easy, delicious, and is now one of my go-to dishes for even a mid-week pasta craving.

If you have a stand mixer and a pasta roller attachment, this will be a snap for you. But never fear if you don’t—I don’t have either of those things and I still do just fine! Here’s how I conquered ravioli without any help in the gadget department (well, I do use a rolling pin, pastry brush, and pizza cutter):

How to Make Ravioli Without a Pasta Roller

Make and knead a batch of pasta dough following Casey’s recipe and video tutorial using 9 oz. (2 heaping cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, 3 large eggs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Once you’ve kneaded the dough, let it rest for 15 minutes or so (I just cover mine with a tea towel) while you prepare your station.

Dust your countertop with flour. Cut the ball of dough in half; re-cover one half with the tea towel. Roll out the other half of the dough with your rolling pin (in a pinch, you can even use a water glass). Add flour if it gets sticky and keep rolling until your sheet of pasta is about 1/8-inch thick. The dough will fight you and bounce back, so continue to roll and stretch gently with your hands until the dough is about 8 inches wide and 16 inches long. Repeat with the remaining dough.

filling homemade ravioli
Now you’re ready to fill your pasta. Grab your filling (see below for three recipe options) and lay out one of the pasta sheets on the counter. Spoon tablespoons of filling onto the pasta sheet like you’d put cookie dough on a baking sheet, leaving about an inch between mounds. You should be able to fit 16 tablespoons on each sheet in two rows.

With a pastry brush, brush a bit of water in the channels between the mounds of filling and around the outside of the sheet so that your sheets of pasta will stick together. Lay the second sheet of pasta on top, and press down between them to seal the sheets together and eliminate air in the pocket that contains the filling.


Cut the ravioli into rectangles using either a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, and press again to seal completely.

If you want to cook your ravioli immediately, you’re all set—just drop them into boiling salted water! If you want to save them or store leftovers, dust them with a little flour and let them sit for a few minutes (so they won’t stick together) and them lay them in a single layer in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for a few months.

Ravioli Fillings

Really, though, the best part of making your own ravioli is having total control over your fillings. You can take advantage of awesome seasonal ingredients in tons of combinations without having to pay twenty bucks at an Italian restaurant for the ravioli special! Here are three of my favorite fillings, but even plain cheese ravioli with a glug of olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper are scrumptious when they’re homemade!

homemade ravioli
All three fillings will keep well in the refrigerator for a day or two, so feel free to make them the day before.

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Comments

  1. Margalit says

    These all sound amazing! And how terrific to be able to do it all without fancy gadgets! Can’t wait to give it a try.

  2. says

    I make a lot of homemade pasta, and though I usually mix it by hand, I do have a pasta roller (just the hand cranked version, but still!). I love that you made this by hand, and all of the ravioli flavors sound divine!

  3. says

    I have a stand mix with pasta attachment and every time I try to use it, it destroys my dough. I think I may just give up on it, and try this instead!

  4. Jackie says

    I’ve never attempted homemade pasta of any kind, and I wanted to do something special for my husband and my first Christmas married. In the instructions you recommend rolling the dough so thin. I second that! I thought the dough was okay in thickness – I even worked up a sweat working it down and had the hubby try his hand at rolling it out. But our ravioli still turned out pretty dense and doughy on the ends. Nonetheless, it’s a delicious recipe and so incredibly fresh that everything tasted okay (just really thick). We filled ours with spinach, basil, chopped pine nuts, garlic and Ricotta, parmesan and Romano cheeses, and made our own tomato, garlic and onion sauce. Also, in the instructions it doesn’t say anything about cook time – I boiled the raviolis for about 15 minutes (they were thick ravioli!) but I imagine for thinner dough the boil time would be less.
    Thanks for making me feel like a real chef in the kitchen :)

  5. tdr says

    Great article! I tried homemade tortellini YEARS ago with a rolling pin and the stretchiness of the dough made the task insurmountable. I’m sure resting the dough a bit does help, but I’m going to stick with my pasta roller.

    I don’t have a stand mixer, so I use my cuisinart to mix up the dough, and the pasta roller does an amazing job of “kneading” the dough. I typically do not enjoying cooking, but to watch the dough transform into a soft silkiness after pushing it through the pasta roller 10x is very satisfying.

    You’ve inspired me to try ravioli! I love the stuff…

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      The pasta roller is a great tool, isn’t it? But it’s fun to think about making dough by hand, like our Italian ancestors did… just to try it once.

  6. Alexandria says

    Am I reading this wrong? Or does it say I use 9 oz of flour or 2 heaping cups? Wouldn’t that be 16oz? Am I missing something??

  7. Amanda says

    Love this idea! No one in the house could decide whether they wanted pulled pork or ravioli tonight, so we’re borrowing your idea and making both. Thanks for writing this!!

  8. Toye says

    So I love to cook and probably should have been born Italian….I suddenly had a craving for homemade fried ravioli…this recipe just changed my culinary life….who knew it would be this easy……I make home made rolls bread sticks all the time…..by hand… thank you….i get so creative in the kitchen this will add to my culinary resume (prowess)

  9. Kevin says

    Hi,

    i would like to make this in home more precise and quick so I wonder if you know some machine or mold to make this, or wherever I could get it.
    Your help will be highly appreciated.
    thanks
    kevin

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Kevin, although this post focuses on way to make ravioli without machines or molds, a number of options are available at specialty kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma or Sur la Table, or on Amazon.

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      The ravioli just need a few minutes of boiling time before they’re done, since they’re made from fresh pasta dough. Typically waiting to see them float is a good visual cue to determine doneness (this goes for frozen ravs and tortellini too!).

  10. Kevin from Idaho says

    Thanks for the technique. I also have been kind of hesitant to attempt ravioli. Tonight I am going for it!

  11. Jamie Kozie says

    Thank you for posting this. I used your dough and made a turkey butternut squash filling, it turned out great for my first time attempt at a fresh pasta recipe! Yum!

  12. Shelly from Minneapolis says

    Love this and thank you very much to allow me to do this without electrical assistance. I do need my hand held a bit more…what are you doing for sauces or simple additions for finishing the dish? Your picture with the herbs, and parmesan(?) looks fantastic.

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Shelly, you could simply melt butter in a saucepan and then sprinkle chopped herbs like sage, parsley, or basil into the pot to make a very easy sauce. Garnish with Parmesan or Pecorino and you’re good to go! Or you can use your favorite tomato sauce, make pesto with your favorite herbs, or try this rich mushroom sauce recipe from The Kitchn. Play around and see what you like!

    • Fiona says

      Yes use leftover hamburger meat chop into small pieces put cheddar cheese with it. Use salt and pepper for flavor and presto it is done.

  13. shawna says

    how can I make beef raviolis without a blender or a handroller is it possible please help me want to know

  14. Leonore Moore says

    As an avid cook (from Switzerland) I just loved your Ravioli making method and forwarded this to my daughter in law in Rome Italy and she was equally exited.
    Please keep those fantastic tips coming – and for your second lovers: I made a shrimp/cream filling and not a morsel was left ! Thank you !!!

  15. Amy Winnell says

    I loved the simplicity of this!
    Beautiful silky ravioli with not a pasta maker in sight:-)
    I made a filling of fresh prawns diced with a few small garlic cloves and dill then a creamy sauce to top and it was absolutely magnificent.
    Thanks a bunch. Keep up the great work :-)