Ahh, ravioli. If you read my recent post about our basil fettuccine recipe, you know we love making pasta. That’s probably our favorite, but we like to venture out into trying other recipes, too. The fettuccine was originally shared on my old food blog, as was the ravioli I’m sharing with you here today.
My favorite ravioli has always been four cheese. I mean, combining cheese and pasta – two amazingly delicious things – is pretty much the pinnacle of flavor, right?
Well, we figured out a way to top that.
Yes, my friends, that’s right. Forget spooning pesto on top of the pasta.
That’s for amateurs.
We put the pesto right in the filling.
And it. is. fabulous.
For those of you that have never made ravioli before, first let’s talk about the basics. It’s truly an easy process once you get a little practice. We used our pasta machine to make our basil & garlic pasta dough, but you could use any basic pasta dough recipe.
Beyond that, the other main tools you’ll need are a rolling pin and a press. You’ve probably already got a rolling pin lying around, and the good news is that a ravioli press is very affordable – ours was just around $17 on Amazon.
To begin, roll out sheets of pasta dough with your machine and let them dry for just a few minutes. You want them pliable but not sticky.
Spray the metal portion of your press with oil (we got this awesome mister to spray olive oil since I try to avoid aerosol cooking sprays).
Next, lay one sheet of pasta dough over the metal portion, making sure the edges hang over on all sides.
Then take the plastic part of the press and gently press the sheet of dough, creating indentations perfect for placing your filling.
Next, spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each indentation. It’s tempting to put way more filling than you should… but resist, friends! You don’t want them bursting at the seams when they cook.
Next, use a pastry brush to add a little bit of water along the edges of the dough to help it seal with the next layer. You don’t want too much, or the dough will get sticky – just use a little!
Next, place another layer of dough on top:
Use a rolling pin to press the dough into the mold; you want to see the metal through the edges so that you know the pasta will come cleanly out of the mold when you’re ready.
Next, turn the press over and gently push each pocket of dough out of the press.
And voila! You’ve got beautiful ravioli ready to boil. We pile ours on a plate (making sure they’re dusted with flour, first – you don’t want them sticking together) until we’re ready to cook a big batch.
I’ve got to talk to you about the filling, too, because that’s part of what makes this so special.
It is incredibly simple – ricotta, pesto sauce, and a little mozzarella. It’s packed full of flavor, so we just topped the finished ravioli with a butter sauce, a little more parmesan, and some chopped fresh basil for pretty presentation.
You should also know – this recipe makes a lot of filling, so depending on how many ravioli you make you might have some left over. I took our leftover filling and tossed it with shredded chicken breast & al dente penne rigate, placed it in a baking dish and topped it with a layer of shredded mozzarella. It made for a delicious pasta casserole!
- Pasta dough (Get our favorite dough recipe here)
- 12 ounces ricotta
- Pesto sauce (we use about 1 cup; you want enough to compete with the flavor of the ricotta, but not so much that your filling gets too loose)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese; mix until well combined. Set aside.
- Lay one sheet of pasta dough on your ravioli press; press indentations into the dough and place 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into each ravioli well.
- Brush a tiny amount of water along the edges of the dough (including interior seams between the ravioli) and lay another sheet of dough on top.
- Use a rolling pin – and your hands, if necessary – to press the dough together until you see the metal through the dough.
- Flip your ravioli press over and gently remove the ravioli from the press.
- Continue the process until all your ravioli are ready, and then you’re ready to cook!
- In a large stock pot with water set to a rolling boil, cook each about 12 ravioli at a time for about 4 minutes – I always recommend testing one single ravioli to get a general idea for the length of time that works well for you.
- Top with melted butter and shredded parmesan; add chopped fresh basil for a little extra color and flavor.