Homemade Ravioli

Stop what you’re doing. This is important; like you’ll never want to eat any other kind of ravioli important.

Yes, these are hard work but trust me when I say that you will not regret it. If anything, the hard work that goes into these delicious raviolis only makes them that much more tasty. Just like the Norwegian cookies that I posted last week, we usually don’t have homemade raviolis that often and usually just during any big holiday celebration.

The great thing is that you get so many raviolis and any leftover pasta dough can be easily turned into fettuccine or saved for later. This is a recipe that my family has had for years and years. My Uncle used to own a pasta shop in Philadelphia and they couldn’t make raviolis fast enough. Even today, when our rather large family sits down for holiday dinners, we’re never quite sure that we’re going to have enough pasta or ravioli because we eat it so fast. There were definitely times when I’ve eaten quite a large amount of these and even as I am writing this now, I find myself craving them.

I’ve had this recipe ready to share for awhile now, but I kept finding myself putting it off. I just had too much to say and these raviolis contain a lot of memories, a lot of Sunday night family dinners and part of me felt they were almost too personal to share. But these are just too good to keep to myself. Although, I will admit, while making these with my Dad, he made me promise that I would not reveal our family “secret ingredient”.

Don’t worry, though, even without that “secret” these are a million times better than any store bought ravioli will ever be. Because they’re filled with hard work, sweat and love. Once you master the making of the pasta dough, you can pretty much fill these babies with anything; meat, cheese, veggies. However, sometimes you can’t beat a classic cheese ravioli.

It’s the filling that really makes homemade raviolis stand out in a crowd; because there is no skimping on the cheese. These are stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture that I could practically eat straight out of a bowl.

These make look and sound overwhelming but trust me, you can do it. Even if you do not own a ravioli mold. Yes, it’ll be a little bit more work but it can be done and they’ll still be delicious. This is the best meal to treat your family to on a Sunday night served with meatballs and garlic bread. These are one hundred percent children approved in our family.

Homemade Ravioli

For the pasta dough:
1 c. semolina flour
2 c. flour
2 eggs mixed with 1 tsp. olive oil
Warm water

In the bowl of stand mixer, add the flours. Slowly add in the egg mixture to the flour. Then get warm water and add slowly. You do not want the dough too dry or too wet; just enough for it to come together. Wrap the dough into a ball and cover with saran wrap; let sit for about an hour.

For the filling:
1 lb. ricotta cheese (good quality, preferably whole milk or part-skim)
1 egg
1/4 c. Parmesan Romano cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 tsp Parsley (or to taste)

If you have a lot of dough, this part can be easily doubled. For every pound of cheese you have, you’ll need an egg, the 1/4 c. cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Mix them all together until well combined.

Assembling the Ravioli:
ravioli mold
Kitchenaid roller attachment
rolling pin
semolina flower or cornmeal

Once the dough has been sitting for an hour, unwrap it and cut a chunk of it off. Using a roller attachment on your stand mixer, put the dough through the attachment on speed 1. Put it through a couple times, until it begins to take a flat, long oval shape; sometimes folding the dough over itself if it becomes too thin. Then continue sending the dough through the attachment on speed 2 a few times, then continue all the way to speed 4; until you get a long sheet of dough that can cover the ravioli mold. You can do this one at a time as you need them, or roll all of the dough so you have it ready to go. (If you do not have a mixer or a roller attachment, using a rolling pin on a heavily floured surface (maybe sprinkles with some semolina or cornmeal to prevent sticking), cut chunks of dough and roll them into long, oval shapes that can fit over the ravioli mold.)

When the dough is rolled out, place it on top of the ravioli mold, letting any excess dough hang off. Using a spoon, carefully spoon in the cheese mixture onto the surface of the dough (above the circles in the mold, though). Once it has been filled, take another sheet of rolled out dough and place it on top of the other sheet with the cheese mixture. Using a rolling pin, roll the top sheet into the mold. This cuts off any excess dough and pushed the cheese into the mold to create the ravioli shape. Don’t be afraid to push down hard. Take all the dough scraps and return them to your ball of dough to be used later. Flip the mold over and gently push out the raviolis. You can either put them aside to cook later or place them together on a sheet and sprinkle with semolina or cornmeal (to prevent them from sticking together) and freeze to be enjoyed later.  Continue this process with the rest of the dough and cheese.

Too cook, boil water and add in raviolis. If fresh, boil about five minutes until done. If frozen, boil about seven minutes. Drain water and serve with your favorite gravy and sides.

Phew, I feel like I just ran a marathon.

 

 

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Fifteen Minute Fettuccine Alfredo

Let’s talk pasta.And creamy, cheesy alfredo sauce. Because, let’s be honest, the two kinda belong together. What’s so great about this alfredo is that you can literally have it on the dinner table within fifteen minutes.

I have quite a large italian family, so I’ve eaten my far share of fettuccine over the years. For Christmas Eve, my Aunt would always make this amazing dinner with all the fish, seafood, etc; pretty much your typical Italian Christmas Eve dinner. However, she would always make several pounds of fettuccine also.

There were so many of us children that we would hog most of the fettuccine at our table. Because what ten year old is going to eat calamari? Well, I’ll tell you that I had no plans of ever touching anything other than this fettuccine because it was so good. And at the age of ten, fish really freaked me out.

I eventually outgrew my fear of eating fish. Albeit, I never ventured that far in my seafood eating adventures. Especially now that I may have developed an allergy to fish/seafood, it’s still unknown as of now. It’s totally okay, though, more pasta for me!

Fifteen Minute Fettuccine Alfredo
Makes about 4 servings (or more)

1 c. half & half
1 egg
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. parsley
1 lb. fettuccine or any type of noodle

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the box. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients; mix well and microwave 1-2 minutes. Stir, repeat 2-3 times until it thickens up a bit.

Once pasta is done, drain the water from the pan. Either leave the pasta in the pot or transfer to a bowl. Pour alfredo sauce over top and mix well to distribute the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

If you’re planning on serving this to a large amount of people, it’s really simple to double, triple, quadruple the recipe. I’d say the amount of alfredo sauce is equal to one pound (box) of pasta. So if you’re cooking two pounds, double the recipe and so on…

Excuse me while I wipe alfredo sauce off my face.