Cheese ravioli make me feel like a kid. Maybe its because I consumed them in mass quantities from the time I could first gum those tasty little pasta purses of creamy cheese.
First, it was with a few pats of butter.
Then, a little bit of salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic powder.
As I got a little older, marinara and meatballs made their way into the mix.
Eventually, the sauce floodgates opened- from alfredo to Fra Diavolo, I would never turn down a cheese ravioli dish.
But, as a young adult, I forgot about the culinary gift from the Italians. That is until I had kids of my own. The old childhood standby of cheese ravioli is once again a staple in my house.
With two little boys who love pasta, I’ve been experimenting with making it fresh.
A Wine Wednesday recommendation of an Italian Nero d’Avola inspired me to make cheese ravioli with a sweet Italian cream sauce. Oh my goodness, my childhood love just sashayed onto my adult plate in the most delicious way!
If you like ravioli and sausage, you have to try this dish. I did run out of filling. So, I used the leftover dough and sauce to make a makeshift lasagna.
Both the ravioli and lasagna were as I would say as an 11-year-old kid – Bellissimo, Magnifique, C’est si Bon! – Sorry, you’ll only get that Polly-O string cheese reference if you watched TV in the late 80’s. Anyhow, this combo is that good.
Getting going on that dough first. That way you can let it chill while you make the rest of the goodies.
- 1 1/4 Cups of flour
- 3 Egg yolks
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Tablespoon of milk
- 3/4 Teaspoons olive oil
- If you’re using an electric mixer, remove the bowl and put in the flour.
- Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the egg yolks, egg, milk, and oil.
- Without yet incorporating the flour, mix the eggs in the middle. You can use a whisk, fork, or even your finger.
- Slowly start to mix the flour from the sides.
- Once you have a ball of dough, you can use the mixer or do it by hand.
- When the dough can be stretched without falling apart, roll it into a ball, wrap, and put into the refrigerator.
Let’s do these babies right and make them four cheese ravioli! But, since I’m an adult, I added a little basil and garlic.
- 1 Cup of ricotta
- 1 Cup of mozzarella
- 1/2 Cup of parmesan
- 1/2 Cup mascarpone
- 1 Egg
- 1 Garlic clove
- 6 Basil leaves
- Saute garlic in a little bit of olive oil.
- Finely chop basil and add sauteed garlic, plus a little salt and pepper.
- Mix all of the cheeses with basil and garlic.
- Mix in one egg.
- Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the sauce.
The sauce is pretty easy to make. Once you’ve added the cream, you can start the process of making the ravioli.
- 1 Pound of ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 Cup of chicken stock
- 1/4 Cup of cream
- 6 Finely chopped basil leaves
- In a pan, saute ground sweet Italian sausage and basil until all is brown.
- Add chicken stock and let reduce about 1/2 way.
- Add the cream, turn to low and cook until reduced. At this point, you can start to make the ravioli!
Putting It All Together!
At this point, you should have your ball of dough, filling, sauce, and toppings.
- Remove dough from freezer.
- Start a pot of boiling water, with a substantial amount of salt.
- Flour your workspace to avoid the dough sticking.
- Either with a pasta rolling machine or rolling pin, start to stretch the dough into a long rectangular shape.
- Plop about a tablespoon of filling about an inch and a half apart.
- Stretch another piece of dough to the same size and cover.
- Use little dabs of water, seal all of the sides.
- With either a ravioli press or fork, close the sides of each ravioli.
- Lovingly place each ravioli into the boiling pot of water.
- After about five minutes, carefully scoop out of the water.
- Toss with olive oil and top with sauce. Mangia!