Ravioli is a type of popular pasta derived from the word Ravolgere, which means ‘to wrap’. A filling in between two layers of pasta dough is the basic structure of Ravioli. A common vegetarian filling is of ricotta cheese and vegetables like spinach or nettles instead of meat. It is then delicately topped with red tomato based sauce, pesto, broth and cream based sauce.
The various versions close to Ravioli were the pastas in Medieval Europe, which were stuffed with meat, fish and vegetables or even creamy ricotta cheese. In Italy, these pastas have been found to exist even in the 14th century. Today it is available in packed frozen form all over the world. The parallels of ravioli in China is Jiaozi, in Russia the pelmeni, in Tibet it’s the momo and Jewish call it Kreplachs.
Century ago pasta was commonly eaten on Fridays with vegetable based fillings. The poor who could not afford meat had it round the year. The left over meat after a treat or Sunday dinner would be used for preparing pasta. With changing time, today Italians buy readymade stuffed pasta, which is available in the supermarkets. Freshly packed pastas have a shelf life of 7 weeks. If you make your own pasta, you can use your own choice of fillings.
The best ravioli sauce makes the best ravioli. Choose your pick from the many sauce combinations:
- Toasted ravioli with red sauce
- Jumbo ravioli with marinara sauce
- Ravioli with fresh basil and tomato sauce
- Eggplant ravioli with ginger-cilantro sauce
- Cheese ravioli with crab and garlic sauce
To prepare a Ravioli the steps are:
1. Collect all ingredients and tools, which are a big mixing-bowl, a rolling pin for rolling dough, cutting board or surface to roll the dough.
2. Mix the dough. Put the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and put eggs, oil and water in the center. Mix with a fork till it is tough, then it is to be kneaded. It will become elastic, shiny and easier. Let it set for an hour.
3. Meantime prepare the filling. Brown the meat and check if it is cooked well. Take onion, celery and parsley, sauté it till it is soft. Drain spinach, take the vegetables and meat, then mix in a food processor. Add eggs and mix well.
4. Get the dough, tear a chunk and flatten it with the rolling pin. Roll the dough into a thick rectangle, put small balls of fillings. Roll the pin over the dough and filling will lay on the grid formed. Paint a line with water making a checker pattern. Fold the dough and roll the rolling pin over it, which seals the dough making separate pockets. Make a pattern on the edge of each ravioli, with the help of wimped zig-zag cutting edge. Cook by boiling them till they come to the top of water.