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"A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner."

Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author, lexicographer.

After many tries with many different recipes, finally we put a recipe together for cheese ravioli that not only produces excellent ravioli but is relatively easy to prepare. This recipe uses a large food processor with metal blade, the pasta attachment to a stand mixer and a 12x4 inch 2-inch ravioli press.

Prep time: 1 hour    Serving Size: (24) 2-inch square ravioli

Three Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces finely shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • a pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley, nutmeg, flour and salt and pepper. Pour in beaten egg and mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator while preparing the pasta dough. The filling performs best when used cold.

Pasta Dough

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, measured then sifted
  • tap water as needed (usually 5 to 7 tablespoons)

To make the dough, use a large food processor fitted with a steel blade. Crack three eggs into the processor bowl and add oil. Put on the lid and process for 5 seconds. Remove lid and add sifted flour all at once. Put the lid back on and process until the eggs and oil incorporate into the flour; it should look like course cornmeal. With the processor still running, add tap water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Remove lid and carefully turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (use caution to not get cut by the blade). Kneed the dough for one minute until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough equally in half and form two balls of dough. Cover with a large glass bowl. Allow to rest on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes.

After resting, remove one of the two dough balls and divide in half. Placing the new quarter piece back under the bowl. Flatten the remaining quarter piece of dough with you hand. Pass through setting (1), or the widest setting, four times, folding the dough into thirds each time. Set the rollers to the next setting (2) and without folding into thirds, pass the dough through. Change the setting to the next level (3) and again without folding into thirds, pass the dough through. Change the setting to the next level (4) and again without folding into thirds, pass the dough through.

Spray the ravioli press well with cooking spray. Lay the just-rolled dough onto the press. (There should be plenty of extra over hang on the short edges of the press.) Remove the filling from the refrigerator and measure 1 heaping tablespoon into the palm of your hand. Roll gently into a ball, flatten slightly and place on the dough over the first opening. Continue until all 12 openings are covered. Cover the filling and place back in the refrigerator. Use a pastry brush to apply water in between each filling and around the edge of the dough. Take the second quarter of dough and repeat the roll out sequence. Lay over the filling and press in between each ravioli to remove air. Use a rolling pin the flatten the ravioli until the jagged edges of the press show through the dough. Turn the press over so that ravioli fall out. Place the ravioli on a parchment lined plate and cover with a moist paper towel until ready to cook. Discard excess dough. Repeat with the other half of the dough and the remaining filling.

To cook ravioli, heat salted water in a large sauté pan until just boiling. (They have less tendency to break apart in a large flat pan of water as opposed to a tall pot of water.) Add ravioli and gently cook until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Note that the ravioli may be frozen immediately after pressing. They may be cooked from a frozen state using the same method but for 10 to 15 minutes.