Written by Rebecca Peters-Golden
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 noire.
You know, that one thing that you’ve never made because it’s intimidating or it seems overly complicated. Mine has always been homemade ravioli. I love to eat it, sure, but it has always seemed so . . . fussy (or potschke, as my grandparents would say).
I suppose all the fussiness stemmed from my lack of fancy equipment in the kitchen. I don’t have a pasta maker—not an old hand-crank one nor a fancy stand mixer and a pasta roller attachment.
But I do have a rolling pin, and a pizza cutter, and a pair of hands, along with a burning desire for homemade ravioli in my belly.
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, and homemade ravioli is now one of my go-to dishes for even a mid-week pasta craving.
And the best part of making homemade ravioli? 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.
The video and recipe features one of my favorites—mixed mushroom and arugula with goat cheese—but even plain ricotta cheese ravioli with a glug of olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper are scrumptious when they’re homemade!
Watch the video and read the tutorial below for step by step instructions on how to make homemade ravioli without a pasta maker.
How to Make Homemade Ravioli Without a Pasta Maker
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1/4 pound (4 ounces; 113 grams) mushrooms, finely chopped (I like to use a mixture of shiitake and cremini)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- kosher salt
- 1/4 pound (4 ounces; 113 grams) fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 4-ounce log log goat cheese, at room temperature
- a large handful of arugula, roughly chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 9 ounces (255 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, for pasta water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 dozen micro sage leaves or 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
- finishing salt, such as Maldon
- freshly ground black pepper
Make the filling:
- Melt the butter or heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and stir to coat, then cook without stirring for 3-4 minutes to brown.
- Add a pinch of kosher salt and the garlic, then stir cook for 2 minutes more.
- Scrape the mushrooms into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Stir the ricotta, goat cheese, and arugula into the mushrooms.
- Season with pepper and additional kosher salt to taste.
- (Mushroom filling can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate until needed.)
Make the ravioli:
- Make and knead a batch of pasta dough following our homemade pasta dough recipe and video tutorial.
- Let the kneaded dough rest under the mixing bowl for 15 minutes.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour.
- Cut the ball of dough in half. Roll out one piece of dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. The dough will fight you and bounce back, so continue to roll and stretch gently with your hands until the dough is as thin as you can make it.
- Repeat with the second piece of dough.
- Spoon scant tablespoons of filling onto one of the pasta sheets like you’d put cookie dough on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between scoops. You should be able to fit 12-16 tablespoons on each sheet in two rows.
- With a pastry brush, brush a bit of water between the scoops of filling and around the outside of the sheet so that the two sheets of pasta will stick together.
- Lay the second sheet of pasta on top, and press down between the filling mounds to seal the sheets together and eliminate any air pockets.
- Cut the ravioli into rectangles using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, or into rounds with a cookie cutter. Press any edges again to make sure they're sealed.
- Bring a large (6-8 quart) pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
- Add the ravioli and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water returns to a boil and the ravioli float easily to the top of the pot.
- While the ravioli cook, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Toss the ravioli with the melted butter in a serving dish.
- Sprinkle with sage, finishing salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.
To freeze uncooked ravioli, place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and freeze in a single layer until completely frozen. Transfer to a zip-top bag for up to 3 months.