Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Homemade Meat Ravioli

I love Valentine's Day and not because it's a commercial holiday for giving gifts and spending money. During our busy lives and schedules of work, family, friends, entertaining and all the little things that keep us on our toes, we tend to forget to make time with our partners. Sure we see them every day, we do things together but it's usually not without tv, cell phones, distractions, etc. Valentine's Day reminds us to take out that time for our sweethearts and that's just what we like to do. Steve and I don't exchange gifts, only cards and we don't spend a lot of money going out to dinner. We've done it but it just never felt like it was worth it. There was no meaning to spending twice the amount we'd usually spend at a restaurant with a limited menu, an overly crowded dining room and timed seating. I understand that some people may enjoy going out and that's great. It just hasn't worked for us. For the past two years Steve and I decided that it would be fun if we spent Valentine's Day preparing a special meal together. We want it to be something that we don't usually make at home, something that requires two people to make and takes a bit of time. I have to say it's worked out wonderfully and I am really proud of our accomplishments. Last year we made gnocchi with bolognese sauce. This year we made meat ravioli. If you're wondering why we chose meat...well, that's because Steve doesn't really like cheese ravioli. I can't say I understand it but that's okay, I like meat ravioli too. Believe it or not, I couldn't find a recipe for meat ravioli so I just followed my instincts and I'm proud to say that it really worked well for us. I used the recipe for the dough from an old cookbook that I have called Biba's Taste of Italy by Biba Caggiano. I am really looking forward to trying ravioli again with different fillings. I'm thinking a basil pesto would be fabulous! Any suggestions?

Meat Ravioli

Yield: Approx. 32 ravioli

Pasta Dough by Biba Caggiano


3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
5 large eggs


1.  In bowl of stand mixer beat eggs and salt. Attach dough hook and add flour a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase the speed and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, until smooth, soft and pliable.

2.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured wooden board of other work surface. Flour your hands lightly and knead the dough for a minute or two. If the dough seems too firm, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, then knead the dough again for about a minute.

Biba's tip: Making the dough with a machine requires a little less flour than making it by hand. Reserve 1/2 cup or so of the flour called for in the recipe. After the dough has been kneaded, touch it. If it is silky and slightly moist, it is ready; if it is too sticky, work in the reserved flour.

To roll out the dough with pasta attachment:

Set the rollers of the pasta machine at their widest setting (1 - for Kitchen Aid) Cut off a piece of dough about the size of a large egg and flatter in under the palm of your hand. Keep the rest of the dough wrapped in plastic wrap. Dust the flattened piece of dough lightly with flour and run it once through the machine. Fold the dough in half, pressing down on it with your fingertips, and run it through the machine again. Repeat this step four to five times, dusting the dough lightly with flour if needed, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky; the dough will become firmer since the machine is actually kneading the dough. Do not skimp on this step, or, as you think the pasta, it may stick to the rollers.

Adjust the rollers to the next setting and run the dough through once; do not fold the dough again. Adjust the rollers to the next setting and run the rollers once; continue to adjust the rollers and roll the pasta through the machine until it reaches desired thinness. (I ran the dough through the first setting twice and then once through each setting #'s 2-5, it was then thin enough but thick enough to hold the filling)

If you are making stuffed pasta, cut and stuff the dough immediately, before rolling out another piece. For string pasta or ribbon noodles, roll out the remaining dough and allow the sheets to dry before cutting them into noodles.

Meat Filling by Michele

1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
1/4 gup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
1/2 tsp allspice (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
1 egg


1.  Sweat onion, garlic, carrot and celery in oil.  Once vegetables soften add grown beef, using a potato masher to break up the meat.  Cook until browned and cooked through.  Drain fat from beef, once beef is cool discard fat drippings.  Add mixture to food processor, pulse until smooth.  Add egg and pulse until combined.

Marinara Sauce


2 cans Tuttorosa crushed tomatoes (use whatever brand you like)
1 medium onion, diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
fresh basil, to taste (dried or frozen can also be used)
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (if you like more spice add more)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
extra virgin olive oil


1. Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and basil. Stir to combine.

2. Add crushed tomatoes and stir. Fill about 1/3 can with water and swish around to clean tomatoes from sides and then pour into next can and do the same thing. Add to pot. Stir and add sugar, salt and pepper.

3. Let sauce come to a boil, stir gently. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for 1 hour stirring frequently. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. If using fresh basil add some more at the end right before serving.


Lay the pasta sheet out on a floured surface.  Place meat mixture about  2 inches or so apart on one half of the sheet.  Biba says to use 1 tablespoon of filling for ravioli but I used a little less than that as you can see from the pictures. If you want to make bigger ravioli use more filling. Once you start making them you will know how much to put in.   Place the unused portion of the dough sheet over the half with the meat.  Press out all the air from around the meat and press down lightly on the dough to seal.  Cut with a round biscuit cutter or cut into squares. 

Make sure you save all your scraps of dough (cut them into strips - don't worry if they aren't uniform in size). Nanny always used the strips of dough in soup or served with sauce for lunch that day. Just cook it in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes or until tender.

To Freeze:

Sprinkle a baking sheet lightly with cornmeal.  Place ravioli on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Place in the freezer for about an hour or until frozen through.  Place in large freezer bags and lay flat.  The purpose of freezing them flat first is so you don't end up with all your ravioli stuck together.  Now you can take out as many as you'd like at a time.

To Cook:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Carefully add the ravioli (if they were frozen you do not need to defrost) to the pot and stir.  When ravioli float to the top they are ready. 

Serve with your favorite sauce.

Click here for a printable version of Homemade Meat Ravioli


Annalisa said...

PERFECT RAVIOLI!!!!wonderful work Michele!!!You're so talented, love these, and love the marinara sauce, yuummmy!!!
great work,

Bob said...

They look amazing! I love meat ravioli, myself. Course, I also love cheese ravioli...

Michele said...

Thank you Annalisa! That means a lot!

Thanks Bob! I like meat too but I'd never pass up cheese ravioli!

La Bella Cooks said...

I adore a good meat ravioli and yours reminds me of how my grandma does it as well. This post has me craving a plate of them.

Jen_from_NJ said...

What a great idea to cook together! I like to stay in on Valentine's Day as well. Your ravioli look absolutely delicious!

matt74 said...

Wow! another great looking dish Michele..I sure looks like it took some time but I'd bet anything that when you took the first bite it was worth every second!..Also on the post below Mark Peel is a great chef and so is his ex wife Nancy Silverton..her La Brea bread is great

Big Dude said...

Everything looks outstanding.

Sophie said...

Love the idea of making pasta together! You guys did an awesome job, they are flawless. I soooooooooo want some ravioli; I've yet to find gluten-free ravioli and I highly doubt it would come out this tasty looking!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, you did a beautiful job on those ravioli. I think you chose the best way to celebrate V-Day. You asked for suggestions for other fillings - artichokes? mushrooms?

Allie and Pattie said...

Lovely, Michele! My Dad only likes meat ravioli too-go figure
xoxo Pattie

Unknown said...

Your ravioli recipe looks great. Another favorite link of mine is mushroom and goat cheese stuffed ravioli with pistachio pesto. It is described at http://desigrub.com/2010/02/gourmet-chicken-alfredo-valentines-dinner-for-one/

Lyndas recipe box said...

What a wonderful meal with your picture perfect ravioli---how great that your husband wants to do this too!I'd say this was a very good Valentines Day for you both!

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious! Yum!

I totally agree about V-Day...I love the holiday because it's just another reminder to be sweet to those that you care about. I think it's become trendy to complain about how commercialized it is and I just think that's really sad.

Delicious Dishings said...

Wow, Michele! You put a ton of work into these. They look so delicious. I made ones with a chicken marsala filling last year. I just had trouble coming up with a good sauce for them. Check out Willow Bird Baking blog for some amazing cheese ravioli with a roasted pepper sauce... you'll enjoy them -- maybe you could do half with meat and half with cheese. :o) I know what that's like... tonight I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes, but half of them have no banana and no chocolate chips -- just cinnamon cupcakes for my boyfriend.

Dajana said...

It's so wonderful to celebrate Valentine's Day the way you two did it. We hate going out on days like this, so I completely agree with you.
Unlike Steve, I love ravioli stuffed with anything but meat, I especially love homemade ravioli with ricotta, or ricotta and spinac.
I can suggest you try chicken and asparagus next time (I think I have the recipe posted on Bakespace).
You guys did a wonderful job with this dish

Arlene Delloro said...

I'm with Steve on this one. I'd rather have meat ravioli than any other kind. Those look drool worthy!

Unknown said...

how awesome that the two of you made ravioli together! It looks and sounds wonderful. I wanna make pasta but I'm afraid to try it without one of those handy little pasta machines.

Patti T. said...

MMmmmmm I am so hungry for ravioli and almost bought the ingredients at the store this time, now I am so wishing that I did. Your meat filling sounds excellent, I was wondering how you would make that, I was going to attempt the cheese, but my hubby like yours would MUCH prefer the meat filling. Thanks for sharing all your great recipes.

Kim said...

Kudos to you for making your own ravioli. I'm really impressed. It looks out of this world delicious:D

Unknown said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Lucy..♥ said...

Oooooh Michele, those rav's are calling to me in a big way!!! Kudos!!

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Awesome Ravioli! Me personally, like ravioli stuffed with just about anything... LOL It's great that you guys cook together. :)

Julie said...

Wow, those are really amazing. I'm quite impressed, and hungry :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, these look beautiful! I've been wanting to make raviolis for quite some time. I'm having surgery in a week, but when I recover, I'm diving into this one.

Unknown said...

Good on you for creating such a wonderful tradition. Your ravioli look lovely. We make them with roasted pork, beef and chicken minced together with the other ingredients you have. Homemade always beats store bought.

Simply Life said...

wow! this looks great!

S said...

That Ravioli is to die for!!!!! Yum! I may need to hire you to cook at my house :) I love your recipes and thank you for sharing them :)

Sweet Cheeks said...

As my son would say, "oh my peas and cheese" I can not believe how wonderful those look!!

Unknown said...

Gustosissimi,adoro mangiarli con il sugo di pomodoro,ottima preparazione e ricetta :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I love meat ravoli. I can' believe you made it! Wow!

Sean said...

It does look delicious, but a whole TEASPOON of Nutmeg? I've never heard of any recipe that calls for that much Nutmeg.

Keri said...

How many ravioli does this make?

Michele said...

It makes approximately 32 ravioli. As far as the nutmeg goes, I kept adding in a little at a time. I thought it was about a teaspoon. If that is too much for your taste please use less. As Claire Robinson always says "You are the Executive Chef of your own kitchen." YOU decide what ingredients you want to keep or change. I won't be offended! :-) Thanks for reading!

Sean said...

Actually I used 1/4 tsp of fresh grated Nutmeg (while keeping your other filling ingredients the same) and it seemed like it could use more. The other flavors seemed to smooth the Nutmeg flavor out somehow. So next time I will use more Nutmeg. BTW they were absolutely delicious.

Unknown said...

Cool! You make your own pasta! Thanks for sharing this. Most of the blogs I found online buys pasta. I'll be making this recipe this weekend because my dad is coming after a year in other country. Thanks for posting this amazing recipe!

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Sune said...

I have never made ravioli before, but your recipe has inspired me. So guess what my family is having for supper tonight. Can't wait to get started!

Unknown said...

Your tutorial is great. Thank you!