Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Let’s start on an honest note, shall we? Pasta making is scary. As easy as pasta making can look, it’s just as easy to mess everything up. There are simply so many things that can go wrong while making homemade pasta; you could make it too thick, overcooked, raw, or too salty.
But despite all of the cons of pasta making, it is one of the most productive and satisfying kitchen activities. I love making pasta; it’s such a simple act of love that you can add to your food. Kneading the dough, rolling it out, and gently cooking the pasta. You’re all in when it comes to homemade pasta, and I’m sure you wouldn’t care half about store-bought pasta.
Fresh pasta takes you to cloud nine; it’s unbeatable. Once you taste fresh pasta, you’re never going to want to buy the packed ones.
And speaking of fresh handmade pasta, ravioli is something that you just cannot use a store-bought one for; I’m not even sure if store-bought ravioli is a thing. Ravioli demands your attention and effort because the result is so damn delicious.
Handmade or homemade pasta was something that always challenged me. Still, after adequate practice, I present to you, my dear readers, my recipe for handmade ravioli stuffed with instant ricotta (more on that later) with a butter-garlic sauce.
Doesn’t it sound delightful? Because it is.
Let us now look at in-depth what goes into this ravioli dish.
What’s in this ravioli dish?
Typically, pasta dough is made with 00 (Double O) flour and eggs. 00 flour is superfine, and its dough is notably stretchy, and it’s commonly used for making pizza and pasta. But for this recipe, I’ve used all-purpose flour and water, so that the recipe could be accessible to everyone. All-purpose flour comes pretty close to what 00 is, and yes, an egg dough is stronger than a water one, but we can easily make do with water-based pasta dough.
The dough needs minimal kneading (fig 2.) that you can easily do with your hands. Then, it needs to rest for half an hour so that the gluten can relax after all the rigorous kneading.
Many recipes will tell you that the pasta dough needs to be ⅛ of an inch thick or paper-thin or whatever. But how would you measure that? I learned an easy trick to test if the dough is thin enough from a Netflix cooking show called “The Big Family Cooking Showdown.” The technique goes as so; you lay the pasta sheet on a flat surface, pick it up from one end and blow under it. It should cause a ripple effect throughout the sheet, making it fly. If your pasta sheet does that, it’s ready.
I roll out a 20 cm wide rectangle for ravioli, which I divide into two 10 cm wide rectangles. Then, I place roughly ½ teaspoons of the ricotta filling at 4 cm intervals (fig. 3).
Now, the filling, you might have wondered what instant ricotta is. You read it right; it is instant ricotta. I don’t even know if it can be considered ricotta, but where I live, ricotta is unavailable in stores. And making ricotta from scratch is a tiresome task. Therefore, I add paneer, fresh cream, salt, and pepper to a food processor, and it results in a crumbly yet creamy cheese that is reminiscent of ricotta. For this recipe, I add garlic to the food processor along with the other ingredients (figs. 4&5).
Finally, the sauce, my butter-garlic sauce, is an adaptation of Aglio e olio. In this case, I use butter in place of olive oil. It’s a brilliant sauce, and it’s composed of only three ingredients: butter, garlic, and chili flakes (fig. 6).
Let us now see what equipment you’ll need to gather to make my handmade ravioli with instant ricotta and butter-garlic sauce.
You don’t need any special equipment to make this ravioli dish: no electric mixer, no pasta machine, none of that.
The only necessary tools you’ll need for this recipe are a faithful rolling pin, a clean flat work surface, and a ruler.
The pasta making will mostly use your hands, and you will be rolling the pasta dough out with a rolling pin. If you plan on making a big batch, gear up for an arm workout. Luckily, this recipe is for a small quantity of ravioli, so it’ll be easy peasy.
You will also need a mixing bowl since you will be mixing the dough in it. No, I won’t ask you to do it on a counter; neither you nor I am professional chefs, and we don’t need to make a mess on our counters.
Get a food processor as well because you need to blitz the paneer ricotta in it.
Apart from these, you’ll need a frying pan and a large pot to boil the pasta.
Here’s everything you need to make this ravioli dish:
Food processor or mixer grinder
Recipe for Handmade Ravioli with Instant Garlic Ricotta and Butter Garlic Sauce
Time: 60-80 minutes
Yields: 15 pieces of ravioli
INGREDIENTS (Click for Grams to Cups Converter)
125 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour + more for the surface
63 grams (¼ cup) water
½ teaspoon salt
50 grams (¼ cup) paneer
12 grams (1 tablespoon) fresh cream
3-4 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
80 grams (⅓ cup) butter
6-7 minced garlic cloves
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Step 1 - Pasta Dough:
In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Trail in around ¾ of the water and mix roughly using a fork.
You should know once roughly mixed if the dough needs more water or not.
Once confident about the water content, bring the dough together using your fingers.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 3-4 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Filling:
In a food processor, add the paneer, fresh cream, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Process until you have paste-like consistency, and all of the garlic has been incorporated into the cheese.
Step 3 - Assembly and Sauce:
Generously flour a work surface, place the rested dough on it, and dust your rolling pin.
Roll the dough into a rectangle, about ⅛ of an inch thick and 20 cm in width.
Cut off the edges if they’re irregular. Divide the dough into two rectangular strips of 10 cm width.
Using the back of a knife, mark a line in the middle of each pasta sheet.
Place the filling, about 1 teaspoon in each ravioli, on the bottom of the marked line, about 4 centimeters apart from each other.
Fold the top part over the bottom and cut 5-centimeter squares, ensuring the filling is in the center.
Use a fork dipped in flour to seal all of the edges.
Use the scrap dough to make more ravioli.
Place a pot of boiling water on the stove, add 2 teaspoons of salt to it.
Cook the ravioli in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water once done.
Simultaneously, place a saucepan on medium-low heat.
Add the butter to the pan and wait until it melts. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes to it.
Sauté for a couple of minutes, add the cooked pasta to it and toss the ravioli in the butter sauce for a minute.
Garnish with dried rosemary and serve.
In case you want to make the pasta later or if you’ve made excess dough, wrap the dough in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze. Around 12 hours before you plan on cooking, place the dough in the refrigerator and about 2 hours before cooking, place the dough at room temperature. Then, proceed as you would.
I wouldn’t suggest shaping the pasta and storing it as it can go bad quickly.
The ricotta you'll yield is more than enough for the recipe, you can store the remaining ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator.