Recipe: Stuffed Pork and Ricotta Ravioli

Fall is starting, and I’ve been eating comfort food non-stop. My mom is Italian and she always made fresh bread and pasta when I was growing up. Even now, I find cooking sauce to be the most comforting smell and activity. This past weekend my sister and I decided to make homemade ravioli (a task made much easier with a KitchenAid rather than the manual pasta makers my mom uses). This recipe is time consuming, but well worth the time for those who love to cook (And eat pasta, of course)!

best rav

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • garlic powder
  • 16 ounces ground meat
  • 5 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • tomato sauce

Directions:

  1. For the ravioli stuffing, we cooked a pot roast, let it cool and then shredded it in the KitchenAid. Usually we use ground beef or turkey, which is what I would recommend here based on the most cost effective method (although the roasted pork was SO good). Start by putting a little bit of olive oil in a pan and browning the meat while you put together your dough. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once brown, grind in a processor and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour in a bowl until there are no clumps. Drop 4 eggs into the flour and mix with a fork. Gradually add in room temperature water and the mixture should begin to become sticky and stiff. Add extra flour if needed to get the right texture.
  3. Knead the dough in either a KitchenAid or just with your hands if you do not have one of these fabulous machines. Knead it until it is smooth, and then set it aside for a few minutes (it needs to rest after all-a that).
  4. Pull the dough out and decide how large you’d like the ravioli to be. We wanted sizable ravioli, so we cut it into 4 pieces. For smaller pasta, you’ll need more sheets. Then roll the dough pieces on a floured countertop or board.
  5. Pull out the ricotta cheese and season with salt and garlic powder. Mix the ricotta with a fork so the seasonings are evenly spread.
  6. Then, beat 1 additional egg and brush it onto the dough pieces. This will help the dough stick together when we fold the ravioli.
  7. Spread a small scoop of ricotta in a square on the dough. You’ll want to leave space between each scoop so rolling the ravioli won’t be too difficult. Add a small scoop of ground meat on top of the ricotta and continue the pattern until the whole row is complete. If you rolled out 4 pieces, two will be the top of the ravioli and two will be the bottom. So only fill one, as the other will cover the stuffed side.
  8. Once both sheets are covered with meat and cheese, cover them with the empty sheets of dough. Cut the sheets into squares, and use your fingers to squeeze the ravioli together.
  9. Place the ravioli on dry towels and let them dry out for about an hour. If they’re too moist, they’ll fall apart in the pot.
  10. Boil around 6 quarts of water in a pan and cook the ravioli for around ten minutes, or until they are fully cooked through.
  11. Drain the ravioli in a strainer and then drop it into a serving platter. Cover it in sauce, oil or pesto shortly after, or the pasta will stick. We made our own sauce, but that’s a recipe for another post!
  12. Cover in shredded cheese and try not to pass out from happiness.
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