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There are a few tasks in the kitchen that we truly find daunting. Making layer cakes, for instance, is not for the faint of heart, and there are so many ways to ruin a Thanksgiving turkey that we admit to being nervous about it every year. But nothing inspires so much dread as making pasta from scratch…until now. Traditionally, fresh pasta is made with lots of egg yolks, and is kneaded until there’s tons of gluten development in the dough. But in this new easy homemade ravioli recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, all you’ll need for your pasta is flour and water.
The recipe comes from the isle of Capri, and like the famous caprese salad of the region, this dish pairs cheese, tomatoes, and basil beautifully, with the addition of pasta. The pasta for the ravioli is made by adding boiling water to flour, which is then kneaded for about five minutes. You don’t even need a pasta roller to make it, thanks to the relative softness of the dough — just roll it out when you’re ready to make your ravioli. It’s a technique De Laurentiis learned while filming her show Giada in Italy.
The filling is made with a blend of cheeses, including ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano. It also calls for caciotta cheese, but if you can’t find it, De Laurentiis says you can use a “mild semi-soft cheese” instead — one made with sheep’s milk will be most similar.
As for the sauce, De Laurentiis keeps things simple. It starts with a base of jarred Italian tomato puree.
Then, fresh basil, garlic, and the secret ingredient: a Parmesan rind, which adds a savory depth to the sauce that’s hard to replicate, though a small splash of fish sauce can do the trick too, or an anchovy filet sizzled in olive oil before you add the tomato puree.
Follow De Laurentiis’ recipe, and you’ll be able to impress your guests with pillowy-soft homemade ravioli, without having to break out your stand mixer and its finnicky attachments. Who knew making fresh pasta from scratch could be so easy?
In search of more recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls