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Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli

Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli

Understandably, making cheese ravioli from scratch may seem a bit intimidating! But rest assured that not only is homemade pasta easier than you think, it’s also requires very few ingredients, is fun to make, and tastes absolutely incredible! This four cheese ravioli recipe uses a blend of ricotta, parmesan, provolone and mozzarella cheese. Use your extra time at home wisely, and dedicate yourself to learning the art of homemade pasta!

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learning something new during “social distancing”

One silver lining of all our extra time forced at home is the having the opportunity to become a bit more industrious. Every time I look at my Facebook feed, I’m shown pictures of friends working on DIY home projects, picking up new hobbies, or finally accomplishing incomplete goals.

And for those of us with kids, we are not only looking for productive ways to fill our time, but also to use this opportunity to help our kids flourish in areas that they find of interest. Whether it be arts & crafts, yard work, practing a sport, organizing their rooms, working on ridiculously hard puzzles, or .. may favorite .. cooking together!

My boys love to try to help in the kitchen! It’s really cute how much they appreciate eating good food and the process that goes into to doing things “from scratch”. If I can raise three young men who can cook a meal for their wives one day, I will consider that one of my greatest successes.

Fresh pasta is an incredible way to bring young ones into the kitchen! It’s so immersive and hands on! Plus, the ingredients are minimal and inexpensive, so if it doesn’t quite work out (and don’t worry, happens to the best of us) it’s not a tragedy.

In this post, I will take you step by step on how to make fresh pasta, roll the dough, make a four cheese filling, and use a ravioli press to make perfectly uniform and professional looking homemade ravioli!!

Welcome to my most IN DEPTH BLOG POST EVER!! A perfect example of something I’ve been meaning to do… but never quite found the time to get it done!

More than one way to make pasta and ravioli!

A quick google search will show that there are many different methods and recipes to make fresh pasta. It’s actually mind boggling how so many different recipes and techniques there are to achieve relatively the same result.

Each region of Italy has their own little fresh pasta formula.  In Tuscany a little olive oil and salt is often added to the dough.  In Liguria they use fewer eggs and add water.  In Piedmont and the Veneto, a very rich pasta is made using predominantly egg yolks and very few whites.  The egg pasta from Emilia Romagna is made simply with whole eggs and flour.

I guess you could say that I like to take a middle of the line approach and incorporate a few regional traditions in to my pasta. I choose to use both whole eggs and yolks because I find the egg yolks enhance the richness. This is the same reason I like to add a bit of olive oil. Olive oil is a fat, and fat is rich and flavorful.. which is exactly what I’m looking to achieve. I like to add salt to the flour as well to flavor the pasta itself. And I like to use a 1:1 ratio of 2 different types of flour: all-purpose AND Semolina.

Semolina Flour is a golden colored, finely ground durum wheat. It has a low elasticity and higher plasticity . Plasticity means that the dough can be molded into a shape and that it stays put. Elasticity refers to the ability of the dough to be stretched, making is easier to knead.

I also use All-Purpose flour to balance the Semolina’s heartiness and plasticity. All-Purpose flour adds a silky, smooth texture and will make the dough easier to knead and stretch (elasticity). There is also proper pasta flour, or “00” flour. It’s finely ground powdery texture, can yield even silkier dough! However, I wouldn’t say that this flour is super easy to find. And during a time when we are trying to spend as little time in the grocery store as possible I recommend just using the regular common place All- Purpose flour.

What if I do not have Semolina Flour?

Totally, fine!! Use only All-Purpose. Many recipes use only All -Purpose Flour, it’s not uncommon at all! I have also made pasta this way myself and have found success. The color will be a slightly different than the lightly golden color you see in these pictures though.

Tips for Success

There are a few basic fundamentals you make what to review to help you become a seasoned pasta making champ!

Consider the following:

Avoid Cold:

Use room temperature eggs.  Also, do not work on a naturally cold surface such as marble or stainless steel. Wooden surfaces are best. Long story short, cold will tense the gluten, leaving you with dough that will be harder to stretch.

Don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe:

There have been many times when I had to use my own judgement while making fresh pasta. Sometimes the dough is too dry and not coming together, or too wet . Try adding a teeny bit of warm water, or more flour. If the dough is too sticky, try dabbing olive oil on your hands.

You Really NEED to KNEAD

Once your dough is mixed, it’s all about the kneading. It will take up to 10 minutes to transform the shaggy mix into a smooth and elastic ball.

Your Dough is Stressed, Let it Rest


After kneading, both you and the dough are going to need a little break. This resting time is absolutely crucial. On a molecular level, the gluten will be very tense after kneading. When gluten is tense, it can’t stretch. And if it can’t stretch you will not be able to run it through the machine without it cracking a breaking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest on counter for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is even better!

Equipment I use to make Homemade Ravioli

These are the Products that I use to turn my fresh pasta dough into Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli.

Click on the pictures in the boxes below to be taken to Amazon to purchase. These are affiliated links, meaning I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you!

A Pasta MachineRavioli PressFluted Pastry WheelWooden Rolling Pin

Steps to Make Fresh Pasta Dough

This recipe yields about 1 lb. of pasta which should be enough for about 4-5 people. 

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Turn out the flour onto a large wooden cutting board.

Gather the flour into a mound, and then using your fingers make a well directly in the center of the flour. To avoid the possibility that the eggs will overflow, it is better to make the well a little wider than necessary than too small.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil. Gradually add the egg/olive oil mixture to the center well and lightly beat with a fork. You will gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall.

Continue to incorporate all the flour until the walls of the well are too thin and most of the flour and egg/olive oil has been incorporated together.

Begin using only your hands at this point. Knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes.

 If the pasta seems to stick to your hand or to the counter, add a little more flour.  On the other hand, if it feels too hard to knead, you may have added too much flour.  Try wetting your hands and kneading the moisture in. 

The dough should feel moist but not sticky.  Quickly wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The surface of the dough can dry out very quickly. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Note: I actually doubled the recipe, in order to make ravioli for now, and extra for the freezer. In the recipe listed here, you will have 1 ball of the size you see in this picture, not two!

Four cheese ravioli filling

Combine cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley in mixing bowl and refrigerate until ready to fill the raviolis.

Roll out the Pasta dough using pasta machine

Unwrap the pasta dough and knead it a few times. The surface of the dough at this point should feel silky smooth, like a baby’s bottom. Cut the ball into 4 equal parts. You will only work with 1/4 of the dough at a time. Wrap the remaining 3/4’s back into the plastic wrap to prevent the surfaces from drying out.

Flatten the unwrapped portion of dough as best you can with your hands, try to guide it into a rough rectangular shape. Then run it through the rollers of the machine set at the widest setting.

Run the dough through the machine 2 times. You should run the dough through at least TWICE on each thickness setting, which is the dial on the the side of the machine opposite the roller crank.

Lead the dough through the rollers and then use one hand to crank , as the other hand guides the pasta through the other side. You will notice that the dough becomes longer and thinner.

If your strip starts to lost shape, simply fold into itself and create a rectangle that is a wide as the pasta machine rollers.

I suggest stopping on the second to last setting on your pasta machine. Indicated by the number “2”. This is just thin enough to see through when held up to a light, but thick enough to hold the cheese filling securely.

Cut your long sheet of pasta in half. You should have 2 pieces long enough to make your first dozen ravioli now!

HOW TO MAKE USE THE RAVIOLI PRESS

Place one sheet of pasta over the metal base of the ravioli press. Make sure you have about 1 inch of extra dough hanging over the metal ridges on all sides.

Use the plastic attachment to form depressions in each square. Gently press the depression form attachment into the ravioli dough. This will leave a little indentation to he middle of each ravioli square, making a pocket for the cheese filling. Lift the depression attachment and set aside.

Place about a tablespoon of filling into each pocket. You want enough filling in each ravioli to have a nice shape, but not so much that you will have trouble sealing the edges of the pasta

You may need to outline the edges of each ravioli with a wet finger tip to ensure that the other layer tightly adheres. 

This really depends on your dough. I did not have to do this step. If you find that your dough seems a little dry, try the water dabbing. Not too much!! Just a touch .

Place another sheet of pasta over the ravioli filling. This will actually form the bottom of the ravioli. Gently press it down onto the first layer with the filling in the middle. You want to be mindful of not trapping air inside your filling pockets.

Now use a floured rolling pin to apply pressure to the metal ridges. Your pressure should begin to cut the ravioli into 12 individual pieces. Peel off excess dough from around the ravioli.

Turn the ravioli maker over and give the mold a shake.  The ravioli should easily fall out of the mold.  If they don’t, tap the edge of the mold against your countertop. 

Using the fluted edge of a pastry wheel, run over any sections of dough that have not been cut completely from rolling pin and ravioli press. You could also use a small paring knife if you don’t have that kitchen tool.

Place each ravioli in a single layer on sheet pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or flour or parchment-lined.

Repeat process until all dough and filling has been used. Should make about 48 raviolis.

freezing ravioli

Freeze ravioli until ready to use, by doing this you are ensuring that your pasta does not stick together. Place the sheet pan of single layered ravioli into the freezer for about 30 min. Once the raviolis are frozen , you can remove them and store in ziplock freezer bags. Keep frozen until ready to use. Boil from frozen, do not thaw.

HOW TO COOK HOMEMADE RAVIOLI

When you are ready to eat your Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli, use a large pot and boil the ravioli in batches. Fresh pasta is more fragile than dried, giving the ravioli a little room will prevent breakage.

Simply place ravioli in rapidly boiling, salted water for 3 to 4 minutes; Fresh pasta cooks very fast and it will rise to the surface to signal that it is ready. 

Use large slotted spoon to remove the ravioli and transfer directly over to sauce of choice.

Enjoy every little bite- you earned it!!!

rating and comment

HOMEMADE FOUR CHEESE RAVIOLI

Brenda Lanzilli
Understandably, making cheese ravioli from scratch may seem a bit intimidating! But rest assured that not only is homemade pasta easier than you think, it's also requires very few ingredients, fun to make, and tastes absolutely incredible! This four cheese ravioli recipe uses a blend of ricotta, parmesan, provolone and mozzarella cheese. Use your extra time at home wisely, and dedicate yourself to learning the art of homemade pasta!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5

Ingredients
  

Pasta Dough

  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Four Cheese Filling

  • 16 oz Ricotta full fat. drained of any excess moisture
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ½ cup provolone cheese shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes

Instructions
 

Pasta Dough

  • Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Turn out the flour onto a large wooden cutting board.Gather the flour into a mound, and then using your fingers make a well directly in the center of the flour. To avoid the possibility that the eggs will overflow, it is better to make the well a little wider than necessary than too small.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil. Gradually add the egg/olive oil mixture to the center well and lightly beat with a fork. You will gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall.
  • Continue to incorporate all the flour until the walls of the well are too thin and most of the flour + eggs have been incorporated together. Begin using only your hands at this point. Knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes.  If the pasta seems to stick to your hand or to the counter, add a little more flour.  On the other hand, if it feels too hard to knead, you may have added too much flour.  Try wetting your hands and kneading the moisture in. 
  • The dough should feel moist but not sticky.  Quickly wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The surface of the dough can dry out very quickly. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Four Cheese Filling

  • Combine cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley in mixing bowl and refrigerate until ready to fill the raviolis.

Make Ravioli

  • Unwrap the pasta dough and knead it a few times. The surface of the dough at this point should feel silky smooth, like a baby’s bottom. Cut the ball into 4 equal parts. You will only work with 1/4 of the dough at a time. Wrap the remaining 3/4’s back into the plastic wrap to prevent the surfaces from drying out.
  • Flatten the unwrapped portion of dough as best you can with your hands, try to guide it into a rough rectangular shape. Then run it through the rollers of the machine set at the widest setting. You should run the dough through at least TWICE on each thickness setting, which is the dial on the the side of the machine opposite the roller crank.
  • Lead the dough through the rollers and then use one hand to crank , as the other hand guides the pasta through the other side. You will notice that the dough becomes longer and thinner. Stop rolling the dough on the 2nd to last setting on your pasta machine. This is just thin enough to see through when held up to a light, but thick enough to hold the cheese filling securely.
  • Cut your long sheet of pasta in half. You should have 2 pieces long enough to make your first dozen ravioli now!
  • Place one sheet of pasta over the metal base of the ravioli press. Make sure you have about 1 inch of extra dough hanging over the metal ridges on all sides. Use the plastic attachment to form depressions in each square. Gently press the depression form attachment into the ravioli dough. This will leave a little indentation to he middle of each ravioli square, making a pocket for the cheese filling. Lift the depression attachment and set aside.
  • Place about a tablespoon of filling into each pocket. You want enough filling in each ravioli to have a nice shape, but not so much that you will have trouble sealing the edges of the pasta. You may need to outline the edges of each ravioli with a wet finger tip to ensure that the other layer tightly adheres. This really depends on your dough. I did not have to do this step. If you find that your dough seems a little dry, try the water dabbing. Not too much!! Just a touch .
  • Place another sheet of pasta over the ravioli filling. This will actually form the bottom of the ravioli. Gently press it down onto the first layer with the filling in the middle. You want to be mindful of not trapping air inside your filling pockets. Now use a floured rolling pin to apply pressure to the metal ridges. Your pressure should begin to cut the ravioli into 12 individual pieces. Peel off excess dough from around the ravioli.
  • Turn the ravioli maker over and give the mold a shake.  The ravioli should easily fall out of the mold.  If they don’t, tap the edge of the mold against your countertop. 
  • Place the ravioli in a single layer on sheet pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or flour or parchment-lined.
  • Using the fluted edge of pie crust roller or small knife, run over any sections of dough that have not been cut completely from rolling pin and ravioli press.
  • Freeze ravioli until ready to use. Place the sheet pan of single layered ravioli into the freezer for about 30 min. Once the ravioli have frozen, you can remove them and store in ziplock bags in freezer. To cook cook the ravioli, place them in boiling, salted water for 3 to 4 minutes.  Fresh pasta cooks very fast; once they rise to the surface of the water they are done.  Use a ravioli skimmer to transfer them of a serving platter.
  • When you are ready, I recommend boiling the ravioli in batches. Fresh pasta is more fragile than dried, giving the ravioli a little room will prevent breakage. Simply place ravioli in rapidly boiling, salted water for 3 to 4 minutes; Fresh pasta cooks very fast and it will rise to the surface to signal that it is ready.  Use large slotted spoon to remove the ravioli and transfer directly over to sauce of choice. Serve and enjoy!!!

Notes

FREEZE TO STORE: 
Freeze ravioli until ready to use, by doing this you are ensuring that your pasta does not stick together. Place the sheet pan of single layered ravioli into the freezer for about 30 min. Once the raviolis are frozen , you can remove them and store in ziplock freezer bags. Keep frozen until ready to use. Boil from frozen, do not thaw.
COOK FROM FROZEN:
When you are ready to eat your Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli, use a large pot and boil the ravioli in batches. Fresh pasta is more fragile than dried, giving the ravioli a little room will prevent breakage.Simply place ravioli in rapidly boiling, salted water for 3 to 4 minutes; Fresh pasta cooks very fast and it will rise to the surface to signal that it is ready. Use large slotted spoon to remove the ravioli and transfer directly over to sauce of choice.
Keyword cheese, cheese ravioli, cooking with kids, four cheese, fresh pasta, homemade, homemade pasta, pasta, ravioli
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