Easy Homemade Ravioli Fillings

We’re big fans of homemade pasta around here. It may sound fancy, but I promise it’s not. In fact, it takes about as long to make and boil homemade pasta, as it does to boil water and cook regular pasta and oh man, does it taste a lot better. So while we don’t make homemade pasta every time we eat it, we do love it.

When we do make homemade pasta it’s typically linguini, fettuccine, spaghetti or angel hair. For a long time I had been wanting to make ravioli’s but I was nervous I would screw them up. I had no idea how to make a filling for them which would taste good. So many options and so many ways to get it wrong.

Well, let me tell you something—like most things in life I was way over thinking it.

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Pst: As with all of my recipes, my measurements are guidelines more than absolutes. I am more of a “pantry cook” and that’s how I put things together. Measurements for the fillings below are mostly educated estimates which should result in the same flavor/texture.

Spinach, Feta, Toasted Pine Nut Filling

  • 1 large bunch spinach
  • 1 cup (or to taste) good feta
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 1 pad good butter or 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry pan. Do not add oil. Once toasted pour into the bowl of your food processor.
  2. DSC_4726-01
  3. Add butter or olive oil to the pan and add spinach. Wilt the spinach. Once done, add to the same food processor bowl. DSC_4729-01
  4. Add feta into food processor bowl and pulse until fairly smooth. DSC_4736-01
  5. Done! Put in a glass bowl and set aside while you make your pasta dough.

Maple Bacon, Kale & Goat Cheese Ravioli Filling

  • 4 slices thick maple bacon
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 4 heaping tablespoons goat cheese
    1. Cook the maple bacon until crisp and remove onto a plate with towels. Pour the rendered bacon fat into a glass jar to cool if you want to use for later, or add to compost. Just don’t pour hot fat down your sink. It will cool, solidify, and clog your pipes. DSC_4739-01 DSC_4743-01
    2. Laugh as your dog gives the bacon the side eye while pretending she’s not looking. DSC_4749-01
    3. Add either a little butter, olive oil, or bacon fat to the pan and add your kale. Wilt the kale. Add the kale to the bowl of your food processor. Toss the bacon in now too.
    4. DSC_4748-01Add goat cheese to food processor bowl and pulse everything together. Place in a glass bowl to cool while you prepare your pasta dough.

While this post is all about ravioli fillings, here’s some quick info on what I used for pasta dough, how I did my ravioli and a simple red sauce I made to go on top.

Pasta Dough

For my pasta dough I simply altered my regular recipe to be half semolina  and half all-purpose flour. The semolina is a high gluten flour and uses some more upper body strength to roll out smooth but it works very well. It holds up super nice with ravioli. I tried both a mix and a regular all-purpose and I definitely recommend going with the mix.

Ravioli Process

There are a lot of ways to make ravioli. This time around I used my ravioli press for my mixer, once I rolled it into sheets. Pros: it made a ton of ravioli at once. Cons: I had some inconsistent filling because I wasn’t doing it by hand. I think by stretching the dough over a hand press and filling them individually you might get more uniform ravioli, but it will take longer. It’s a trade off. I have a hand press I will be using next time, and my friend recommended using a glass to cut them out too which I will also try. It’s all about testing different methods and seeing what works best for you.

Pasta Sauce

The pasta sauce I made was really really easy and simple. I wanted something that let the ravioli fillings do the talking.

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • teaspoon basil
  • teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • Small handful raisins (about 1/8 cup if that)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

Saute your onion and garlic. Throw everything else in and stir. Using an immersion blender to smooth it all out. Reduce over low heat until to your desired thickness. We don’t like watery pasta sauces at all, so we make ours fairly thick.

Once you have everything done, throw it all together and munch on down!

DSC_4774-01I promise making ravioli, and homemade pasta in general, is a lot easier than it seems. Though sometimes when you get a little zealous with your flour your phone takes the hit.

DSC_4760-01I said it was easy, I never said anything about me not being a messy cook.



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