Pasta and cheese is one of the greatest comfort food combos out there -- just look to mac and cheese, cheese tortellini, or Cacio e Pepe to see what we mean. And, along those lines, the carb-combo that are these herb, cheese, and ricotta ravioli are major dinner party crowd pleasers.
Making these ravioli from scratch is a fun cooking project -- sometimes we make them for special occasions like Christmas while other times we make triple recipe and freeze the majority so we can have homemade pasta on demand.
Once you've made homemade pasta a few times, you'll likely want to level up and make a filled or shaped pasta. So, after you've mastered pappardelle, fettuccine, and any othere noodles, we'd recommend trying your hand at a simple shaped pasta like cavatelli or ravioli.
After you get the hang of it, making ravioli by hand are easy though they can be a tad time consuming. Here are a few tips to make them great every time:
These ravioli have a pretty delicately flavored filling so you don't want to overwhelm them. The butter and cheese sauce here is super simple but a pretty perfect match. Here are a few other sauces that also work well:
That's it -- go ahead and head to the kitchen then let us know what you think in the comments below!
To Make The Pasta: Follow the instructions to make one full recipe of our Basic Egg Pasta Dough all the way through (as in, mix it, let it rest, and roll it into sheets).
You want the sheets to ideally be at least 4-inches wide and, if you'd like, you can trim them 12 to 15 inches in length to make them easier to work. Lightly sprinkle both sides of each pasta sheet with flour then fold on itself. Cover the pasta sheets with a dry kitchen towel and set aside while you make the filling.
You can make the pasta up to one month in advance -- store the ball of pasta dough in the freezer in an airtight container and defrost before rolling into sheets.
For The Ravioli Filling: Bring a small saucepan or tea kettle of water to a boil. Trim the stems off the herbs so you mostly have leaves (it's okay if you have a few tender stems) then place the herbs in fine mesh seive set in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let sit 20 to 30 seconds so they wilt.
Drain off the water then run the herbs under cold water then place the herbs in a paper towel and squeeze out excess water. Finely chop the herbs then mix together with the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, lemon, egg yolk, and a pinch of salt and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
The ravioli filling can be made up to 1 day ahead of time -- store refrigerated until ready to use and stir to mix again before using.
To Form The Ravioli: Place one of the sheets of pasta on a clean, dry surface with one of the long edges facing you. Brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush then fold the sheet down its midline to make a light crease and then re-open it.
Spoon small 1/2 teaspoon mounds of the filling down the lower half of the dough, leaving a 1-inch space between each mound. If the dough is dried out, wet the dough near the mounds of filling lightly with a bit of water (either by using a spray bottle of water or by lightly apply it aroundthe mound with your fingers or a pastry brush). Fold the pasta sheet over along the crease, pressing from the folded point outward to remove excess air.
Gently pat the dough down around each lump of filling to create a seal. Use a small biscuit cutter or square cookie cutter to stamp the ravioli into even circles or squares. Repeat until all of the filling and pasta is used up, gathering and rerolling the scraps as needed.
To Cook The Ravioli: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablepsoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the water boils, add about 15 to 20 ravioli and cook until the pasta floats to the top and is just cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the pasta and drain carefully, then transfer to the frying pan with the melted butter and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until tender and golden. Remove the pan from the heat, add 1 more tablespoon of butter and swirl until the sauce is thickened slightly. Serve immediately topped with freshly grated cheese. Repeat to cook the remaining pasta.
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