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Home-made Ravioli

About once a year, during one of the breaks when the kids are home from school, I make home-made ravioli. Why once a year? Well, it's not that complicated or difficult, but it takes a LONG time to make!

First you make the dough, which is simply water, eggs, flour, salt, and a little oil. After mixing these ingredients, you knead the dough for about 10 minutes and then let it rest for 30 minutes. While it is resting, you start working on the filling. I have always made the meat filling, but the spinach filling is also good. I know because I always order the home-made Spinach Ravioli at Le Pilier, my favorite restaurant in Niamey...and unarguably the best spinach ravioli in the world. Anyway, I digress. The filling is meat, onions, garlic (the more the better!), egg, salt, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
By the time the meat is done, the dough has rested long enough. So, the next step is to cut the dough into six portions. One portion at a time, you roll the dough out into long strips, then cut each strip into eight or nine two-inch wide pieces. The edge of each of these pieces has to be dampened with just a bit of water so they edges will stick together. Then you put a little of the meat filling on each piece of dough and fold them up and seal the edges. Each ravioli is then placed on a floured towel to dry. While the ravioli are drying, you make a simple marinara sauce (definitely NOT from a jar....that would ruin your hard work of making such delicious ravioli!)

Finally it is done and the ravioli is ready to be enjoyed! This is so amazingly delicious that my family refuses to eat ravioli from a can or even the frozen version. It is a lot of work, but it's worth it when you sit down to eat it. Just don't expect me to make it very often!
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