Handmade Cheese Ravioli


Aside from being utterly delicious, ravioli are fun to make. Here is a

pillowy three-cheese version.  They freeze perfectly, so make enough for

another meal.

Basic Egg Pasta (yield: 1 ½ lbs. dough)

3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 T water

½ t salt

Place flour, eggs, water and salt in bowl of food processor with metal

blade.  Pulse until dough comes together.  Remove dough from bowl and hand

knead until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes.  Divide into 4 balls, cover

with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. .


12 oz. fresh ricotta cheese

4 oz. fresh smoked mozzarella, cut into a small dice

2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

2 large egg yolks

1/8 t ground nutmeg

2 T pignoli nuts, lightly toasted and chopped

2 T parsley, finely chopped

¼ t freshly ground black pepper

1 T heavy cream (Add if mixture seems dry.)

2 T salt (for water)

Mix together and chill until ready to use.

Using a hand cranked pasta machine or the pasta attachment for a stand

mixer, roll out one ball of dough.  Continue to fold and roll out on wide

rollers and then thin out the dough until setting # 6.  Cut one section of

pasta the width of your workspace.  Along the length of the sheet place

heaping teaspoons of filling about ¾ inch from edge and 1 1/2 inches apart.

Have a small bowl of water nearby to moisten one long edge and between each

mound of filling.  (Don’t moisten both long edges.)  Fold over dough and

press dough together with the side of your hand.  Make sure dough is sealed

around each mound of filling.  With a zigzagged pastry cutter, cut along the

long straight edge and between each mound of filling.  Place each ravioli on

a baking sheet lightly covered with flour.  Chill.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 T salt.  Gently add 9 or 10

ravioli and simmer for 4 minutes. Test one for doneness. Pull out ravioli

with a large slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Then add 9 or 10

more.  Serve with your favorite sauce.


Bolognese Sauce [ragu] (makes 2 ½ cups*)

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

¼ cup diced onion

3 T carrots in a small dice

3 T celery in a small dice

1 lb. ground chuck

2 t salt

¼ t freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup milk

1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg

2 ½ cups canned Italian peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano.

In a 5 ½ -quart Dutch enameled cast iron Dutch oven or stainless steel pot,

place olive oil, butter and onions,  Sauté just until onions are

translucent.  Add carrots and celery and continue to cook gently for a few

minutes.  Break up the ground beef and add it to the pot.  Sprinkle with

salt and pepper and cook until meat has lost its red color.  Do not brown.

Add wine and increase heat to medium high and cook stirring from time to

time until wine evaporates.

Lower heat and add milk and nutmeg until milk evaporates.  The milk keeps

the meat sweet and creamy.  Stir in the tomatoes and break up with wooden

spoon.  When the sauce comes to a simmer, lower the heat to maintain the

barest simmer and continue cooking with the cover ajar for 3 ½ hours.  Stir

occasionally and taste for seasoning.

*It wouldn’t be a bad idea to double this recipe and reserve half for future

use.  It freezes perfectly.

Brown Butter and Sage Sauce

8 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 1 T chunks

8 medium fresh sage leaves, chopped

I medium clove of garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

2 T freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese

Melt butter in a medium hot skillet.  When it starts to brown, add sage

leaves.  Turn heat to low.  Add garlic, shallots, salt and pepper.  When the

mixture turns to a golden brown, add cheese .  Fold in well drained ravioli,

turn to coat and serve.

Simple Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3 whole red bell peppers

2 T pine nuts (optional)

2 T olive oil

1/2 whole medium onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ t salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Flat leaf parsley, finely minced

Fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated

1/2 pound (to 1 pound) pasta.

Roast red peppers, and then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel

the charred skins from the peppers, then removed seeds. Set aside.

Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.

Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.

In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions

and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add

plenty of salt.

Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

Fold in  cooked pasta.  Top with chopped parsley.

Photographer Bill Brady

Recipe Provided by Phyllis Kirigin, aka sweetpaprika