Homemade Ravioli with White Wine Sauce

June 23, 2011 § 5 Comments

J: We know.  We know.  With no warning, we abandoned you and failed to update for almost two weeks.  We are so sorry!  But we have a legitimate excuse: Erik is now living with me!  The past couple weeks have been incredibly hectic with getting all organized, with the drive (!) from New England to the South, and with slowly but surely getting Erik unpacked and settled in here, while I try and catch up on grad school-related things.

To apologize for our lateness, then, we offer you this: homemade ravioli with a delicious white wine sauce.  We’ve wanted to do homemade pasta for a really long time, and while I’ve done dumpling-esque pasta types before (monster spaetzle!), that was about the extent of our combined experience.  So we decided to make homemade pasta of some kind to celebrate Erik’s college graduation, and he chose ravioli.  This was the result.

how could you say no to that?

I don’t think this really needs to be said, but, uh, guys?  It was amazing.  And surprisingly it did not even take that long, though having two people working on it definitely made the process go easier.

Since we each kind of took over an aspect of this dish when we made it, we decided that we’d write this as a joint post, with each of us covering what we did.  I handled making the actual pasta, cutting it out, and assembling it, and Erik handled the filling, the sauce, and the cooking of the finished ravioli.

So, let’s get going.

Homemade Ravioli:
(adapted from recipe here)
3 c all-purpose flour
8 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c water

White Wine Sauce:
1/2 sweet onion, diced small or minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 bottle white wine (we used a Sauvignon Blanc from CA)
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 sweet onion
1/3 cup fresh basil, minced (save some leaves to chiffonade for garnish)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup emmentaler, grated
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the flour in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate, smaller bowl, beat together the egg yolks and the salt.  The original recipe called for only 5 egg yolks, but once we added those to the flour, it was very clearly nowhere near enough liquid, so we added more, one at a time, and 8 seemed to be sufficient.  You may need more or less depending on how large your egg yolks are — start with 5, as we did, and increase using your judgment.

From there you’ll add a bit of water to bring the dough together.  We needed about 3/4 c to get the dough to knead-able consistency, but you may not need this much.  Add it bit-by-bit to make sure you don’t go overboard.  This is about what you want it to look like:

dough brought together prior to kneading

Knead the dough for about ten minutes.  It’ll become smoother and stretchy, and should look a little something like this:

smoothed out by kneading

Let it rest for about 20 minutes.  This is an important step to allow the proteins in the dough to relax, which makes the subsequent process of rolling it out much easier.

rested, relaxed, and tested for puffyness

Now you’re ready to roll out and cut the dough into the ravioli shapes.  Take a small handful of the dough (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a baseball) and place it on a lightly-floured surface.  You don’t want to over-flour the dough; just sprinkle enough on it and on the rolling pin that it won’t stick to anything.

Roll out the dough very, very thin, flipping it over every so often to help keep it from sticking (really, this is useful to do!).  You want it to be not quite paper-thin, but maybe the thickness of a few sheets of paper stacked together.

To cut out the shapes, we used an inverted glass tumbler — place the rim of the glass on the dough and use a sharp knife to cut the circle around it.  I learned the hard way that it can be useful to lightly brush the rim of the glass with a bit of flour; otherwise, you risk getting a ravioli disc stuck perfectly over the mouth of the glass, which makes for a rather annoying and delicate rescue operation.

Set these discs aside (layering with parchment paper helps keep them from sticking together) and repeat with as much dough as you need.  This recipe makes a ton of dough, and we only used about half of it to make 16 ravioli.  And remember, you need two discs for one raviolo!

pasta dough cut into rounds

Now I’m going to let Erik take over for a bit and tell you how to make the sauce and the filling for the ravioli.

E: You should really start preparing the sauce and the filling right as ravioli rounds start getting cut, so keep that in mind. Start by preparing your herbs and aromatics by chopping, mincing, et cetera. If you want you can cook all your onion and garlic together and just add about 2/3 of it to the filling, or you can cook each amount separately in different pans.

In any case, you’ll want to sautée about 1/4 to 1/3 of a sweet onion in a pan with some olive oil to add some nice flavors to the filling. Once the onion has softened, add 1 minced clove of garlic. Heat on medium to medium-low, depending on your stove’s strength—just avoid burning the garlic. When the onions are translucent and the sweet smell of garlic is making it difficult to concentrate, remove the onion and garlic to a mixing bowl.

sauteeing some onion for the filling

You can see below about how much I used of each herb for the filling. When you’ve minced these, add them to the bowl with the onions and garlic.

herbs, roughly measured and ready for chopping

Toss in the cheeses, mix together, add some salt and pepper to your tastes, and your filling is good to go!

the filling is almost ready

Now Joanna will tell you how to assemble these things but before she does that, let me get you started on other things you’ll need. Fill a big pasta pot about 1/2 full with water, salt it, cover it, and get it on the heat. If you are doing a single serving you can use a small pot and cook ravioli one or two at a time, but if you are feeding multiple people a larger pot will allow you to get more in the water at once.

Also, get your sauce started. In a saucepan or large skillet, add some butter or oil and 1/2 to 2/3 of a sweet onion over medium heat. Once that’s translucent, add the clove of garlic. If you cooked all your onion and garlic already, just add the already-cooked veggies with the oil that is on them, and heat them up until the onions are golden but the garlic is not burnt. Once your onions and garlic are ready, add the 2 tbsp of flour and stir until smooth. Then add the 1/2 bottle of white wine, and simmer while the ravioli are being prepared, stirring occasionally.

J: Assembly time!  This is pretty straightforward, actually.  You’ll want to have an egg, beaten, in a bowl off to the side to help you seal the pasta.

Take one dough circle and place a small amount of filling in the center.  Err on the side of using less filling than you think you need, just to be sure that you don’t overfill the pasta; you can adjust the amount as you go if necessary.  Lightly brush egg around the edge of the disc, and place another disc on top of it.  Seal the two together with your fingers, and try to get all the air bubbles out of the ravioli as you do so.

We decided to crimp the edges, both to help with the seal and to make it look prettier.  If you want to do this, just press the tines of a fork all around the edge of each raviolo.

ravioli, ready for boiling (notice the parsley leaf laid into the dough)

And there you have it!  Beautiful ravioli, all assembled and ready for cooking.  Back to Erik for the finishing touches.

E: By now your white wine sauce should have simmered away nicely. It should have thickened up a bit, so you’ll want to use the stock to give it some more flavor and to thin it out until the sauce is creamy and coats the back of a spoon. Add the herbs and some pepper (the salt level will likely be okay unless you used zero sodium stock) and simmer for a few more minutes while you cook the ravioli.

the wine sauce, nearly finished

Your pasta water should be boiling, so go on and drop in some ravioli. I set them on a slotted spatula, gently placed them in the water, and then used this to recover this later. You can add as many as will fit on the bottom of your pot without overlapping. When they are done they will float to the surface. Scoop these out, drain off the water in a sieve or colander, and serve, spooning some of the wine sauce on top. Garnish with a chiffonade of basil and a thin slice of lemon.


Enjoy! And make sure your leftover pasta dough (if you have any) doesn’t go to waste. Roll it out and make it into linguini or fettucine.


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§ 5 Responses to Homemade Ravioli with White Wine Sauce

  • Natalie says:

    if you’re interested in a pasta recipe that doesn’t use quite so many eggs, here’s the one i use (though full disclosure, i’ve never rolled it out by hand, i’ve always used a pasta maker):

    1 1/2- 2 c flour
    1/2 c semolina
    1 T olive oil
    3 eggs
    1/2 t salt

    make a pile of the flour and semolina on the counter, then make a well in the middle. put eggs, olive oil, and salt in, and slowly mix in the flour, carefully so as not to break the well and let eggs go everywhere! (you can do this in a bowl if you want to be safe.) the rest of the prep is the same as your recipe.

    you can also make this dough in the food processor, add the liquids and salt first, blend, then add the flours and pulse to form a dough.

    the ravioli look fabulous!!

    • nombudsman says:

      Thanks Natalie! Using fewer eggs would definitely be a plus — that recipe looks great, and we’ll for sure give it try next time we decide to make pasta. 🙂

  • Julia says:

    Did you use the fresh basil I gave you from my garden for this recipe?

  • […] This dish was inspired both by the ravioli that we just posted and by the pear and ricotta stuffed chicken that went up in mid-May. We used […]

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