"The earliest mention of ravioli appear in the writings of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Venice in the 14th century. In Venice, the mid-14th century manuscript Libro per cuoco offers ravioli of green herbs blanched and minced, mixed with beaten egg and fresh cheese, simmered in broth, a recipe that would be familiar today save for its medieval powdering of "sweet and strong spices"."
"In Tuscany, some of the earliest mentions of the dish come from the personal letters of Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato in the 14th century. In Rome, ravioli were already well-known when Bartolomeo Scappi served them with boiled chicken to the papal conclave of 1549. Ravioli were already known in 14th century England, appearing in the Anglo-Norman vellum manuscript Forme of Cury under the name of rauioles. Sicilian ravioli and Malta's ravjul may thus be older than North Italian ones. Maltese ravjul are stuffed with rikotta, the locally produced sheep's-milk ricotta, or with gbejna, the traditional fresh sheep's-milk cheese."
"Today, ravioli are made in worldwide industrial lines supplied by Italian companies such as Arienti & Cattaneo, Ima, Ostoni, and Zamboni. Italian fresh pasta has a shelf-life of 30 days. "Fresh" packed ravioli have in USA seven weeks of shelf life."
"Canned ravioli was pioneered by Chef Boyardee. This type of ravioli is filled with either beef or processed cheese and served in a tomato, tomato-meat, or tomato-cheese sauce. Canned ravioli has more in common with other canned pastas than with traditional ravioli dishes. Its roots are in traditional American "red sauce" Italian-American restaurants opened by Italian immigrants in Boston, New York and other cities. Toasted ravioli, ravioli that have been breaded and deep fried, were first developed in St. Louis, Missouri, and are a popular appetizer or snack food."
|To Make The Dough:|
3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (50ml / 3 1/2 tablespoons) olive oil
1/2 cup (120 ml / 8 tablespoons) water
Extra flour on hand for “dusting”
|To Make The Filling: 15 oz (425 g) container Ricotta cheese|
5 oz (142 g/about 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) "3 Cheese Italian Blend" (Parmesan, Romano & Asiago)
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1/2 a teaspoon pepper
"You can experiment with the filling by using different cheeses, depending on your preferences. For example, you can use a 1/2 cup Mozzarella instead of Cheddar. You can also try cheeses like Fontina or Gruyere."
Make the ravioli filling: Use a small mixing bowl. Use a small mixing bowl. Add in the 3 Cheese Italian Blend, Cheddar cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix all ingredients thoroughly until you have a smooth, paste-like consistency. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
Make fresh ravioli dough: Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them with a fork. Add water, oil, and salt. Mix together. Add 1 cup of flour to the bowl. Use a fork to mix the flour with the eggs, water, oil, and salt. Repeat with the rest of the flour. Mix until a smooth dough is formed. Clear and clean off a large work surface and dust it with flour. This is where you are going to roll out your dough.
Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place it on your work surface. Ball up the dough and knead for at least 10 minutes or until it becomes elastic.
Dust a rolling pin with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out dough until it is about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) thick, or about the thickness of 2 stacked quarters. Turn a water glass upside-down and “cookie cut” out circles in the dough (will make about 15-20 dough circles). Ball up the unused dough and either repeat or place in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for another time (*dough can keep for about a week or so in the freezer).
Make the dough into ravioli: Take ravioli filling out of the refrigerator and place a tablespoon of it in middle of the dough circles. Fill small ramekin or bowl with water, dip finger in the water, and moisten top half of the dough circles.
Fold dough circles in half, making sure all filling stays inside, and pinch circles into a half moon shape. Place 1/2 cup of flour in a mound on the counter.
Dust ravioli with the flour. This will prevent the ravioli from sticking together.
Seal the edges of the ravioli with a fork. Make sure to press firmly and go all the way around. This will add a “homemade” touch as well. Alternatively you can roll the dough into two sheets and use a ravioli maker, like in the video, or a small cookie cutter.
Cook the ravioli: Put your favorite sauce in a small pot and heat until hot.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the ravioli in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, or until they float. Take ravioli out of boiling water with large slotted spoon and place on plates.
(*If you don't want to make all of the ravioli at one time, you can freeze the rest.)
Text Credits: Wikipedia wikiHOW
Image Credit: Flickr