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
For The Dough
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (may need more if 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 – handful
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Steps To Make Homemade Ravioli
Step One Make The Stuffing
The stuffing for our ravioli are 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.
- 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. You’ll want to slowly add water until you get it to the right consistency. Not too sticky, not too dry. Cut small chunks out for your KitchenAid pasta maker attachment and start going through the numbers on the knob. We usually stop at #5 for the perfect thickness. Too much dough and the filling is 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 super quick (or at least faster than usual). 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 1-2 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 bad boys 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 saltwater until they float. This only takes a few minutes. Then we top ours with homemade meat sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
How To Serve Homemade Raviolis
Everyone has their preference for sauces, but in our house, it’s a meat sauce we use. You can do a bolognese if you like. Here’s my attempt 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.
Serve with a big salad, a fresh baguette and wine. Enjoy!