Ravioli Pasta Dough ricotta and spinach

Ravioli Pasta Dough ricotta and spinach

By 24/09/2014

So here is my tutorial for making fresh ravioli and tortellini. Based on what I learned at Mr Giovanni Rana's fresh pasta masterclass.

I have made the same filling as him with ricotta, spinach, parmesan and mascarpone cheese which adds a moreish touch to it. It is a very quick filling to prepare and in my opinion one of the best ones. So popular in Italy too, if not the most popular of them all.

Use some semolina to help you when you prepare them. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your worktop and very importantly, you must let the dough rest for a minimum of 30 minutes (1 hour would be best) before rolling it.

You can make ravioli just with a rolling pin but if you have a machine for pasta that would help too.

Making fresh pasta it is not difficult but I think it is a skill you acquire in time, by making it over and over again, like most things in life.


  • Prep Time : 40 minutes
  • Cook Time : 5 minutes
  • Yield : 4



First let's take a look at our ingredients. What we need for the dough is just flour and eggs. I have not added salt as I will add it to the filling and in the cooking water as well. The filling consists of fresh spinach, ricotta, mascarpone cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper.

ravioli ingredients

We'll start with the dough and we make a well with the flour then we crack the eggs inside. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork until smooth incorporating slowly the flour.

eggs and flour

Then working with your hands make a big, smooth lump of dough. This will develop the gluten which helps make a good springy and al dente pasta.

children making ravioli

Work the dough with the heel of your hand, pull it, bash it, squash it into the table, stretch it and so on; basically be rough with it until you get a smooth and silky texture.Β  Sprinkle some semolina flour (or normal flour if you don't have it) from time to time to prevent the dough from sticking to your working top.

working dough

Let it rest in a cool place for an hour wrapped in cling film

dough in cling film

Prepare the filling by mixing the ricotta with the mascarpone, the chopped spinach, parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.

spinach and ricotta filling

Now roll your pasta with your rolling pin

rolling pin

Flour your surface again and sprinkle some flour on top of the sheets of pasta; keep rolling it and make it as thin as you can

rolling pastry

Do this until you get a thin and smooth sheet of dough

a sheet of dough

But of course muscles can ache! Certainly mine did. Hard work though.

Having a good and long rolling pin would help. A good tip is to roll small pieces of pasta rather than a few big ones. I kept taking layers of clothes off as I was getting hot and bothered. But before ending up in a bikini I opened my cupboard and got out my good old pasta machine. Much easier I must say, but there are many Italian mammas and nonnas who would disagree with that: "just get tougher girl!" Now you know why most Italian grandmothers have such big muscles!

pasta machine

So let's go ahead: cut your sheet of dough in half

cutting dough in half

And fold each sheet in half again

folding in half

And put small lumps of filling on one half of the sheet. Leave some room around them.

filling on top

Brush with some water in between the gaps of the filling


And cover with the other half of the sheet. Press around the filling sealing it well

How to make ravioli

With a pastry cutter cut out your ravioli

How to make ravioli

Line them on a well floured surface so they won't stick on it and cook them in salty boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. Don't overcook!

How to make ravioli

You can also make tortellini: cut the pastry with a round pastry cutter; put the filling in the middle of each circle, wet half on the border, fold and seal well with your finger tips. Now you join both sides of the pastry and you have your tortellino!

How to make ravioli pasta

Fresh ravioli and tortellini are good without much of a sauce at all. I enjoy mine with a sprinkle of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese or in a classic melted butter sauce flavoured with sage leaves; like that you can bring out their flavour very well. So you can taste all the goodness of freshly made dough and of the lovely fresh filling.

And now you can definitely say: BUON APPETITO, as you could not get ravioli fresher than these!

Simply wonderful. Viva la pasta!

How to make ravioli


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

17 Responses to Ravioli Pasta Dough ricotta and spinach

  1. gloria

    This is a lovely and delicious ravioli recipe Alida!
    I love raviolis!

    • Alida

      Grazie cara Gloria!

  2. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful presentation of making Ravioli. You are amazing and I love how your children have become your helpers. Teach them young and the memories will be with them forever. Never would have thought to add the mascarpone cheese to the filling, must be a very scrumptious flavor. I love the tutorial and your tortellini are beautiful as well. Each time you create another dish I wish I lived closer so we could cook together and you could teach me so many things. You did a fabulous job of explaining each step. When the weather gets colder I would like to try this….. Like you said you were hot by the time you made them. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and your experience with Mr Giovanni Rana. Abbondanza! Ciao dear friend!
    Dottie πŸ™‚

    • Alida

      Ciao Dottie! If we lived closer I am sure we would be cooking all the time! I am doing that with a friend of mine, we are cooking buddies and especially now that they weather is getting cooler we meet up in the morning, cook lunch together and then have a fab meal at lunch time. Not bad, hey?! πŸ˜‰

  3. Diana

    Beautiful Alida….never knew how to shape the tortellini…When I have a whole day to try these out, I will do it for sure…I have always been intimidated by fresh pasta….I tried it in the past, and it always comes out too thick…..great job!

    • Alida

      I know I had the same. It is easier with a pasta machine to make it really thin! It is easier than it seems though πŸ˜‰

  4. Camilla @FabFood4All

    What a fabulous skill you learned and ultra yummy pasta! Thank you for linking to #creditcrunchmunch πŸ™‚

  5. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Not bad at all…What a wonderful and fun idea to cook with your friend and then enjoy the food that you made! Sounds like an awesome way to learn different techniques and then to eat the lunch.. Oh I wish I could join you. Have fun….
    Dottie πŸ™‚

  6. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    Good to see you are putting those wonderful pasta-making skills to good use…….. And passing them to the kids nice and early as well. The pasta looks superb. I’m very impressed with your perfect little tortellini!

    • Alida

      Thank you Kate. They were not so perfect but they tasted fabulous. I will make them again!

  7. Pingback: 27 thrifty autumn recipes: Credit Crunch Munch round up - Maison Cupcake

  8. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    I am full of admiration for your efforts and you have something truly lovely to show for it. Thanks for submitting to Credit Crunch Munch, your entry has now been featured in this month’s round up.

    • Alida

      Thank you so much Sarah, thanks for hosting!

  9. Peggy

    My grandmother came to America and settled in Boston’s North End. The spinach and cheese raviolis are exactly what I remember her making along with the pasta which she rolled out with a 3ft. rolling pin she brought over from Italy.I am 82yrs. old and full Italian decent married to an Irishman for 64 years. He loves Ninjas ravioli recipe. Thanks for bringing it back to me.

    • Alida

      Oh I can almost imagine your grandmother rolling the pasta dough with that long rolling pin! How beautiful. You don’t see those pins in Northern Italy so much these days although in Southern Italy there are still some women making pasta by hand. This is a skill we don’t want to forget!
      Well done for being married for 64 years. Ciao e grazie for your comment!

  10. Rachel

    How many ravioli do the amounts make please Alida?

    • Alida

      Hi Rachel,
      this recipe serves 4. Ciao!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *