How to Make Ravioli (Homemade Ravioli Pasta Dough)
Traditional Italian Pasta dough recipe calls for a super fine flour known as “00” flour. However, if you are not in the mood to make a trip to Italy just to buy this flour, then our plain old all-purpose flour will work just fine. In fact, you can even use King Arthur’s Italian Style Flour for a more authentic taste and texture.
Recipe by Fine Cooking Chef Alan Tardi; photos by Scott Phillips]
Yields 1 lb. of dough
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or Italian flour
4 large eggs
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
For the Raviolis
Any filling that you like
Standard Pasta Machine
Making the Pasta Dough
Dump the flour in a pile on a work surface. Make a deep, wide well in the center and pour in the eggs, olive oil, and salt. Begin mixing the eggs with a fork, staying in the center and being careful that the eggs don’t breach the wall.
Little by little, mix in flour from the sides until the dough starts to move as a unit and is too stiff to mix with a fork. Continue mixing by hand, incorporating more flour to stiffen the dough. When it doesn’t easily absorb more flour (one signal is floury, dried bits of dough flaking off the mass), set the dough aside.
Scrape up all the remaining flour and pass it through a sieve to sift out any dried-up bits. Discard the bits and keep the cup or two of sifted flour on the work surface to use during kneading if necessary.
Wash and dry your hands. Knead the dough on the lightly floured surface until it’s a smooth, homogeneous ball of dough, firm but resilient, neither too dry nor too soft, about 5 min.; it should no longer stick to the surface. Poke it and it should spring right back; press your finger into the center and it should feel just a bit tacky. If it’s very sticky, knead in more flour.
Wrap the dough loosely in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
Roll Out and Stuff The Raviolis
Divide the ravioli dough into four equal pieces. Wrap three in plastic and return to the refrigerator. Flatten the fourth piece of dough with your hand (flour it lightly if necessary), and run it through the widest setting on your pasta machine twice. Set the rollers to the next narrower setting. Pass the dough through twice. Continue notching down by one setting and passing the dough through two times (the first pass roughs up the dough; the second pass smooths it out).
As the dough lengthens and thins, it will bunch up under the machine. Rectify this by gently lifting it out and folding it neatly behind the machine. When you can just see the shape and shadow of your hand through the dough sheet (it should be about 1/32 inch thick), stop rolling. You may not need to go to the narrowest setting.
Cut the sheet in half crosswise and trim the sides to make two neat rectangles, one slightly larger than the other. On the smaller sheet, spoon mounds of 1 to 2 tsp. of filling, leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inch between each mound. (For smaller ravioli, use less filling in each mound and space them more closely; for larger ravioli, use more.) Brush a little beaten egg yolk on the dough around each mound of filling.
Lay the second sheet of dough on top, draping it gently over the mounds without stretching it. Starting at one edge, gently press around the filling to push out any air pockets and seal the sheets.
Cut the pasta in between the mounds to form individual squares or circles with a scalloped pastry wheel or ravioli stamp (if you don’t have either of these, try a biscuit cutter or a paring knife). Press on the mounds a bit to slightly flatten them and on the edges to confirm the seal. Roll out, fill, and cut the remaining dough the same way.
Proceed with your favorite Ravioli recipe. Make the sauce, cook the ravioli in a pot of hot water just for a few minutes, then mix it all up to make a delicious and satisfying home-cooked Italian meal!