Making ravioli from scratch doesn’t have to be intimidating. Using a couple of handy shortcuts, you can make this impressive and incredibly delicious traditional Italian comfort food favorite in just three simple steps.
I’m not afraid of many things, but as a child, I had a fear of just about everything. The dog barking. The monster in the closet. World War III. Of course none of it was justified, and as I grew into my teen years, I overcame my fears with a vengeance. I started rock climbing, backpacking, waterskiing and a number of other things I had always wanted to try… and I loved it!
Well, I admit that as an adult, there have been just a couple of kitchen fears I have never overcome. One of them being homemade ravioli. Those little nuggets were so darn intimidating, probably relating to my seeming incompetence with homemade pie crust (the rolling part) and fresh bread (which never rises properly).
As of today, I have officially checked my ravioli fear off the list. As a matter of fact, these plump little gems were so much fun to make. As I held my breath and tentatively rolled out this pasta, I gained a newfound confidence and reestablished my relationship with my rolling pin. My dough was completely cooperative and never once stuck to the cutting board.
I’m going to break this down step by step so you can see how easy it really is. I figured if I was going to succeed at this, I was going to need to make the recipe as simple as possible. So I’ve condensed it down to three easy steps, and made it even easier by using premade pesto and keeping the filling ultra simple. You can add a fancier sauce or filling, and now that I’ve succeeded with it, I’m eager to try some of them myself. Mushroom and spinach with wine sauce? Mmmm…
So let’s do this!
Step 1: The pasta
Combine the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together two eggs and two yolks. Save the whites for the filling. Mix together the flours and the eggs, and knead for about five minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling, and prepare the toppings.
Step 2: The filling
In the same mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, remaining egg and leftover egg whites, kale and spices.
Step 3: Prepare the toppings
Empty the pesto into a mixing bowl, and set aside to use when the ravioli cooks. Quarter the tomatoes, crisp the prosciutto, and chop the walnuts.
Now go back to your pasta dough (if it’s been a half-hour or more), and cut it into quarters. Roll each dough quarter into a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of filling to within an inch of the edges, and place another layer of dough on top.
You can also use a ravioli tray, or you can make the individual ravioli without any tools. Just drop spoonfuls of your filling evenly apart, and then cover with the top dough.
Use a fluted cutting wheel, a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into individual ravioli.
Boil a large pot of water with salt. Simmer eight to 10 ravioli at a time for three to five minutes or until the ravioli float to the top and are tender. Place them in the bowl of pesto, and toss to coat.
Now let’s plate these babies!
To the pesto-covered ravioli, throw on a handful of shaved Parmesan. Next, add a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes.
And last but not least, add some crisped prosciutto or chopped bacon and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. If you skip anything, don’t skip the prosciutto or bacon. The salty crunch adds so much to the flavor profile of this meal.