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Making Cheese-Filled Ravioli

I enjoy making ravioli over the holidays, and once again this year, I dragged out my trusty ravioli form. It's a two piece set that is available in kitchenware stores. The form makes a dozen ravioli at a time, making it a great time saver.

Make a basic pasta dough from 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, a pinch of salt and four large eggs. You can do the whole thing in a food processor or by hand. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Gather it into a ball and let it rest covered on a floured surface for 30 minutes. I use an inverted bowl to cover it.

Meanwhile, make the filling from:

1 ½ pounds ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt to taste
a grinding of black pepper
1 large egg.

Mix everything well and set aside. Take the rested dough and divide it into 4 pieces. Keep the pieces covered as you work with one at a time. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin into a 5-inch square. Then thin the dough down in a hand crank pasta machine until it is the thickness of a sheet of copy paper. You may need to cut the sheet of dough in half crosswise if it is too long. Place a sheet on the bottom part of the serrated form. With the top of the form make small indentations pressing with it on the sheet of dough on the serrated bottom form. Fill the indentations with a teaspoonful of the ricotta cheese filling. Place a second sheet of dough over the filling, then use a rolling pin to roll over the form. This will cut the ravioli and allow them to release from the form. Gather the scraps of dough from around the form and re-roll. Continue making ravioli as described and place them on towel lined baking sheets, spacing them apart.

I make layers of ravioli on clean towels, then freeze them until hard before transferring them to plastic bags. You should have about 12 dozen ravioli.
When ready to cook, take what is needed from  the plastic bags and do not defrost them. Place them directly into boiling water and cook about 3 minutes. Drain well and top with your favorite sauce.


  1. Dan G's avatar

    Dan G

    Maryann, when you make the pasta dough, does it ever tear or crumble? I made ravioli once a couple of years ago and they taste so much better than commercial. I inherited a round ravioli stamp so I could only make one at a time, I think getting the full press would be so much easier.

    What other fillings do you like?
  2. mary Ann Esposito's avatar

    mary Ann Esposito

    Happy New Year Dan!

    If your dough crumbles it is too dry; you can always correct by adding a spoonful of warm water a little at a time until you get the right consistency, like bread dough. Other fillings I like are squash and amaretti and spinach and ricotta and chicken and lemon.
  3. Mandy L.'s avatar

    Mandy L.

    Mary Ann,
    I watch you all the time on Create.
    I am looking for a homemade pasta recipe.
    Tho the recipes I find do not include it..I thought it included olive oil. Does it not?
    IS it just flour, eggs, and salt?

    I am looking to make homemade because of some dental issues, I am hoping it will be a little softer.

  4. Mary Ann Esposito's avatar

    Mary Ann Esposito


    You can add olive oil to the dough if you wish; there are many variations of making pasta in the regions of Italy; some add white wine, some add egg whites
  5. Chuck Riegel's avatar

    Chuck Riegel

    Mary Ann,
    I just found your show on PBS and really love it. One question for you - I use a ravioli form like the one in this recipe but have trouble with air pockets. How can you prevent these air pockets with these forms?

  6. LuLu's avatar


    Hi Mary Ann,

    Where's the parsley?

    I was surprised to see that you did not include parsley in your ravioli filling. What gives?

  7. Debbie's avatar


    I recently made pasta with duck eggs. It was incredible!
  8. Karen's avatar


    You may not even see this question but I'll try anyway.
    I am going to attempt to make pasta for the first time and am not sure how thin to make it when I roll it through the pasta machine..... On my machine I start at number 1. I have only ever used it to roll fondant through it because I'm a cake decorator.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks 😊
  9. Debbie's avatar


    I usually go down to the second to the last notch unless I am making ravioli. Then I like one notch thicker than that so it doesn't tear as easily and I can't see the filling through the dough so much. Plus it stretches when you shape the ravioli. I have 7 levels on my pasta maker. Hope this helps. Make sure you give your dough a good rest before rolling. That makes all the difference in the world.
  10. Karen's avatar


    Thanks for your reply Debbie...very much appreciated.
  11. Antonia's avatar


    When making the filling for cheese ravioli, I thought you are suppose to add some parsley. That is how I have been making it for years. Is this wrong?
  12. Tiffany J Spann's avatar

    Tiffany J Spann

    Mary Ann Esposito, what type of ravioli maker did you use here?

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