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Adventures in early literacy

Homemade Cheese Ravioli in Marinara




Does this look like something you’d like for dinner? If so, you have three choices: follow the directions below and make it, go to your local Italian restaurant and pay for it, or head over to my place and I’ll share! 🙂      

 Anne Burrell scares me. But she also makes really delicious looking pastas on Food Network. As luck would have it we received our monthly Food Network Magazine the other day and she had a recipe for homemade ravioli inside. So I decided to conquer my fear of Anne and pasta and beat those eggs like I mean it. Be aggressive!  Even though Anne scares me, I actually really admire her.  After making this ravioli my admiration is greater than ever. While not too terribly hard, this dish is very time consuming and physically demanding. Seriously, kneading pasta dough for 10 minutes really takes it out of you!     



That said, the taste of fresh, homemade pasta is SO worth the work. However, if you have never made this before I’d allow at least 2 hours for the whole meal. The pasta dough has to rest for an hour, and if you are like me you constantly check the recipe to make sure you are doing it right. That eats up a lot of time. Anyway, on to the recipe.       

Pasta: 3 eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 Tbsp olive oil, dash of salt       

Pile the flour on a large cutting board or the counter and make a well in the middle. Put your eggs, oil and salt in the well. Beat the eggs in the well with a fork. Then use the fork to break the flour wall and gradually incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. Here is a youtube video to give you a visual       

After the flour and eggs are mixed, gather the dough into a ball and knead. Continue to knead until dough is “smooth and supple”, about 10 minutes. If the dough is too dry (mine was a little dry) get your hands wet and knead the moisture from your hands into the dough. After the dough is kneaded wrap it in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour.  

While the dough is resting prepare your filling: 1 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 1/8 tsp salt. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer the filling from the bowl into a pastry bag (or a ziploc you don’t mind ruining) and refrigerate.    You can also put in some tallegio cheese, but we didn’t have any.  


Ricotta Filling


Now you have to think about your sauce. I chose to make a marinara because I didn’t have any of the ingredients for Anne’s pancetta mushroom sauce. However, I will be making these again with the pancetta sauce because it looks awesome. The marinara was pretty good. It would have been better with fresh tomatoes, or at least whole canned ones. All I had was tomato puree so that had to work. Here’s how it went: In a large saucepan (big enough to hold your ravioli and sauce) combine 3 Tbsp olive oil, 6 cloves of garlic thinly sliced, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook on medium-low heat until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes.      

Cooking Garlic and Oil


After the garlic is browner than in this picture, add 1 can of tomato puree, 1 can of water, 1 Tbsp basil (or a handful of fresh basil leaves if you have it), 1 tsp salt. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes (it can simmer longer if you need it to, though). Once your raviolis have boiled you will add them to the sauce before serving.      

Your dough should be ready by now. Unwrap it and separate it into 3 pieces. If you have a kitchenaid mixer with a pasta roller attachment you can use it for this. If not you will need a crank pasta roller like mine (you can get one for about $30 at Bed Bath and Beyond and they are super cool!). With your hands, slightly flatten a piece of dough and crank it through the roller on the widest setting. Do this a couple of times. Fold the dough over itself in thirds and feed it through the roller again on the highest setting. Continue to crank the dough through the roller, taking the width setting down one place each time you feed the dough through. When you feed it through on setting 4 on a hand crank roller the dough is done (stop on the second to last setting on a kitchenaid mixer). If your dough gets sticky you can lightly flour it before sending it through again. Your dough should be about 1/16 of an inch thick when finished. Lay the sheets of dough on a lightly floured surface. Very lightly brush the bottom half of the sheet (the half closest to you) with water. See pictures below for visuals for all of this.

Rolling the PastaPasta Sheets



Pasta Sheets


Cut a hole in the corner of your bag of filling and pipe a one inch ball of filling onto your pasta sheets. Pipe the filling on to the damp part of the pasta. Space the filling balls about 2-3 inches from each other.   

Piped Filling on Sheets


After you have piped all along the sheets of dough, fold the dough over the filling and use your fingers to press the two sides of dough together around the filling. Try not to have any air bubbles in the filling section. This isn’t super easy. I messed up a couple of times and filling came oozing out of unsealed holes. DON’T PANIC! Just squeeze the edges a little more tightly and everything will be fine, I promise. Use a cookie cutter to cut the ravioli into their round shape . When all the ravioli are cut place them into a pot of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and into the sauce when they finish boiling.   

Fold Dough Over Filling


Press Dough around Filling


Cut Ravioli


Finished Product


Now put the food on your plate and top with some grated parmesan. Voila! You made a delicious dinner!    

I made lemon bars out of the Food Network Mag as well but they are terrible in comparison to my tried and true recipe so I’m not even going to post them. Maybe I’ll post my fav lemon bars soon. We had kind of a strange and busy weekend so the chocolate covered cherries never happened. I will make them soon.   

Until then, Happy Eating!


Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

6 thoughts on “Homemade Cheese Ravioli in Marinara

  1. That looks so scrumptious! I love how you have the instructions right in front of you, I would too. I wish I had more time to cook. Mark tells me the only thing I know how to make is macaroni and hotdogs (not together). Keep on cooking Miss Kendra!

    • Mac and hotdogs sounds good to me. If you want I’ll give you a really easy recipe for homemade mac and cheese. Tastes like the stuff in the restaurants, but super easy. The trick to cooking a lot is to do it together. Kev helps me a lot and we have fun. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t be doing this. 😛 The time thing is tricky, though. Hit up allrecipes for some quick and easy things. 🙂 Love and hugs!

  2. Kendra, I am SO IMPRESSED!!! I don’t think I’d ever tackle anything like that!! It is so much fun to read your recipes and funny comments. The pictures are great, too. I may need some cooking lessons from you one of these days. 🙂 Love, Marliss

    • Thanks! It is surprisingly fun! Especially when Kev so graciously cleans up after me. 🙂 Next time you are here we’ll roll up our sleeves and see what we can do!

  3. And you did this AFTER work? I vaguely remember having that kind of energy after a day at work, but it’s been a while. 🙂 Sounds to me like an awesome Sunday afternoon, if I could do it with you. Maybe Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast and Ravioli for sup. MMMMM!! OX

    • It’s a date! Wish I could say I did this after work, but it was actually on Monday, my day off. No way I’d have that much energy after work! Cupcakes are my limit for during the week baking. 🙂

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