My guide to easy homemade ravioli that will have you making filled pasta like a pro! Impress your family and friends with beautiful silky pasta filled and folded into easy shapes. This is the only ravioli guide you need with filling options and some suggestions for perfect pasta sauce pairings.
Hello! I am SO excited to be writing up this homemade ravioli guide as teaching skills like this is my most favourite part of what I do. Pasta making from scratch can be intimidating but I promise you, making ravioli at home is SO achievable. I have taught total beginners how to make filled pasta and the sense of achievement they get at the end is always incredible to see.
In this guide I will outline the process of making the pasta, a simple filling and then a couple of shape ideas that are perfect for beginners. First of course, you need the perfect pasta dough and lucky for you, mine really is! My easy homemade pasta dough will give you the perfect fresh homemade pasta and is the essential starting point for any ravioli. You'll never want to buy store-bought ravioli again and it is such a fun activity for the whole family.
Equipment you'll need
- Pasta roller - Yes you can roll pasta out by hand with a rolling pin but a pasta roller really is the easiest and fastest way. I use both a Marcato 150 and the kitchen aid pasta roller attachment.
- Wooden chopping board - It always works best making pasta on a wooden surface.
- Sharp knife or pizza cutter - To cut the edges of ravioli you need a sharp knife to get good clean cuts, a pizza cutter is great! An optional tool for cutting the edges is a fluted pasta and pastry wheel.
- Cookie cutters - For certain shapes like cappelletti (which I will put a guide up for soon) round cookie cutters are great but you can also cut round a glass or cup.
- Piping bag - I KNOW it seems super chef-y but it's actually so much cleaner and easier to pipe the fillings onto the pasta rather than a spoon.
Breaking down the ravioli process
It might seem like a daunting task to make ravioli at home but when you break it down into steps, it shows how achievable it is. A piece of advice? Make the ravioli a day (or even week) before you want to serve it and then freeze it. I have the BEST guide on how to store ravioli. It's the perfect solution so you can take your time and not have a deadline of people arriving for dinner looming over you.
1. Make the pasta
First job is making the pasta sheets and you will use my easy homemade pasta dough recipe. It's an easy fool proof dough that works every time. For filled ravioli I like to use a mix of 00 flour and semolina flour. It can be made by hand in a large bowl or on the bench. For a short cut the dough can be bought together in a food processor or stand mixer too!
2. Make the filling
I usually make the filling while the dough is resting, particularly if it is something quick like my simple ricotta ravioli filling. It's an easy mix of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lots of black pepper. This incredible filling is what I suggest to any new ravioli maker as it takes 5 mins to make. I always suggest when making any kind of ragu or slow cooked meat sauce to reserve some into a tupperware to freeze. It means you have a delicious meat filling ready at all times!
3. Shape the pasta
I am mainly going to focus on a very traditional square ravioli in this guide. Another brilliant shape for beginners is triangoli which I have a guide for. It's as simple as folding a square. A slightly more advanced shape but still really manageable for a beginner is cappelletti which starts with a circle of dough. With any shape, please remember that any homemade pasta recipe is supposed to be rustic. Don't strive for perfection, it's hand made so it is never going to look flawless, nor should it.
Tips for first time makers
- For best results, have everything set up and ready. Before I roll the pasta out I have everything I need set up and ready. Pasta roller locked onto bench, wooden board ready, any tools I need and a tray lined with parchment paper for the finished shapes. It's also important to have a nice clean work surface.
- Only roll out and work with small amounts of dough. Rolling out looooooong sheets of pasta might look cool on instagram but it's difficult and impractical. For beginner pasta makers I suggest cutting your ball of dough into 6 and rolling out one piece at a time while the rest stays tightly wrapped.
- Take the time to press the air pockets out - When you layer one layer of pasta over another the way it drapes over the mound of filling causes little pockets of air. I keep the top layer lifted up with one hand and gently press round the whole filling, getting the air out before finally sealing. It can take some practice, don't stress if you get air bubbles. Every time you do it, you'll get better at sealing.
- Press the two layers together firmly - You may have rolled the pasta to the perfect thinness but you now have two layers together. Press them down quite firmly to thin them out a bit to a single layer thickness. That is why I use a little dowel (a pencil will do the same job) to roll between the mounds of filling.
How to shape homemade ravioli
Hopefully these photos help you make amazing homemade ravioli! If they don't look like mine, don't stress! As I have said above, homemade pasta is SUPPOSED to be rustic.
1: Roll out your pasta as per the rolling instructions in my pasta dough recipe. For ravioli I go to setting 6 on my marcato pasta sheet roller or setting 7 on my kitchen aid. You don't really want to go thinner than that.
2: On a lightly floured surface, fold the sheet in half lengthwise to create a line in the middle.
3: Pipe or spoon generous tablespoons of filling right up against the centre line about an inch and a half apart.
4: Fold the sheet over and try and keep it lifted up with your left hand while your right goes around the filling mounds pressing all the air out. If the folded side is in front of me I start at the bottom right corner of the filling, pressing down then I make my way around the mound in a circle. Don't stress if you end up with a few air pockets or pleats in the pasta.
5: Press really firmly so the two layers are stuck together really well.
6: An optional step is using a wooden dowel or pencil to gently roll in between the filling. This helps to create neater squares of filling as you can press right up along side the mounds to move them into a square shape. It also helps to thin out the pasta layers a touch. Fingers are fine if you think the dowel or pencil is too fiddly.
7: Cut along the long side and then down between each one. Depending how far apart the filling blobs were you might need to trim a bit off each side. There are no rules they can be whatever size you like! Use a ravioli cutter, a knife or a pizza cutter works perfectly too.
8: Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with course semolina. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Keep them well spaced in a single layer.
Another filled pasta shape to try
I wanted to focus on this square shape as it is the traditional fresh homemade ravioli shape. To be honest I think Triangoli are actually easier as you make one at a time. If you can fold a square in half you can make these!
How to store homemade ravioli
I am a big advocate for making ravioli way before I want to serve it and freezing it. Making ravioli at home can be time consuming and a touch laborious if you aren't used to it. The last thing you want is to be rushed for time with guests arriving.
I have an amazing guide on how to store ravioli which will take you through the steps of freezing it. To keep it tasting super fresh and to prevent any cracks in the pasta you blanch them in a large pot of water, completely dry then freeze. Frozen ravioli cook perfectly and they taste just as fresh as if you had cooked them straight away.
Storing uncooked ravioli in the fridge tends to make the pasta extremely sticky and it can stick to the tray and loose it's shape. If you really want to and if it won't be for too long then a pizza box is the best way, dusted very liberally with course semolina.
How to cook ravioli
Boil the ravioli in a big pot of well salted water. It needs to be a large pot so they have room to float around. Depending on the thickness of your pasta they will take 4 - 5 minutes to cook, a touch more if cooking from frozen. Check one at 4 minutes and go from there.
Ravioli molds and other tools
If you follow me on instagram you'll know that I absolutely love using a ravioli mold. I wrote a guide on how to use a ravioli mold for QB Cucina. My favoured molds are by John Francis Designs. My top tips for molds:
- Dust the first sheet of pasta really well before placing it into the mold.
- Use a pastry brush to push the pasta sheet into the hole where filling will go.
- Layer the second sheet of pasta over and use a rolling pin to push them together.
Other tools that are fun to use are ravioli stamps and cutters.
What sauce is best for ravioli?
Making filled pasta can be time consuming, especially as a beginner. Use any sauce of your choice but I highly recommend using my 10 minute brown butter for pasta. It's quick and super easy plus it doesn't cover up the beauty of the pasta! It's no secret it is my favourite pasta sauce.
Yes! I have a recipe for gluten free pasta dough which you can make filled shapes with easily.
Absolutely! It's my preferred storage method. Make sure you read my guide on how to store ravioli as there are a couple of steps to ensure success.
For beginners definitely a ricotta based filling as it's super quick. I have a recipe for a simple ricotta ravioli filling. It's a great base to add other flavours to. You could add a few tablespoons of pesto, some olive tapenade - the world is your oyster.
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print