Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: ravioli

Date settembre 10, 2009

If Grandma were a dish, she would have been home made pasta, ravioli, actually!

Since I was young, Grandma used to make home made fresh pasta on holidays , she closed herself in her kitchen and she came out soon later with a wooden plate, lined with paper, dusted with semolina and full of spinach ravioli (fresh stuffed pasta, similar to dumplings).

I know, it’s strange, but if I think back at my mental shoot of those moments, the most lively detail is the tray: enourmous, strong, made by Grandad Biagio, a master with wood works.

The most popular Tuscan ravioli are those made in Maremma (a beautiful costal area located in the centre of Italy), made with a filling of ricotta cheese and spinach, sometimes with an hint of marjoram, with a wide sidewalk of pasta all around the soft heart. Grandma has always used spnach and nutmeg, they taste of Sunday, of a table layed with the best cutlery and dinner service and cloth napkins.


For the fresh homemade pasta:

  • plain flour, 300 gr
  • semolina flour, 200 gr
  • eggs, 2
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • boiled spinach, 800 gr
  • ricotta cheese, 400 gr
  • egg, 1
  • a pinch of salt
  • grated nutmeg
  • grated Parmesan, 4 tablespoons


For the filling:
Blend the spinach until you obtain a smooth cream. Add ricotta cheese, one egg, Parmesan and season with salt and grated nutmeg. It is supposed to be quite firm, so that it can keep its place inside the raviolo! Set aside.

For the fresh homemade pasta:
Sift the plain flour with the semolina flour, place it on a flat surface and make a well in the middle. Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt and pour them in the middle of the flour. Work flour and eggs with a fork, then start kneading the dough, pouring warm water little by little, untilthe dough gets soft, elastic and it doesn’t stick to your fingers anymore.

Now, to roll the dough you can use a classic rolling pin or the machine, with the handle or electric. We have a classic machine where you have to turn yourself the handle. It is a gift from my Grandad Biago for Grandma, it is 20 years old, but it is still brand new, as my Grandma cleans it with a little brush to remove each and every grain of flour from it every time she uses it.

The most important thing, either you’re using the rolling pin or the rolling machine, is to work it over and over again, rolling and stretching it as much as you can.

Make long thin stripes, 10 cm large. Lay them on a floured tablecloth.

Making ravioli:
You must be rapid! Otherwise the fresh pasta dries and then it’s hard to close ravioli. Keep in mind what you see in the picture! Place small spoonfull of filling onto the stripes. Cover them with another pasta stripe and press with your finger all around the filling, to seal it. Cut out ravioli with a cutter, leaving at least 2cm of pasta all around the filling.

Cooking them:
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt the water and pour a tablespoon of extravirgin olive oil in it: it will help you cooking ravioli, so that they won’t stick to eachother. Place a few ravioli per time into boiling water and after about 5 minutes, when they come afloat, remove them gently with a large pierced spoon and place them in a large deep plate.

Seasoning them:
My favourite one? Melt a knob of butter in a small pan with some sage leaves until they get crisp. Pour butter and sage leaves over the ravioli, sprinkle with a lot of grated Parmesan and serve hot.

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10 Responses to “Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: ravioli”

  1. meatlessmama said:

    I’ve never made ravioli but your post makes me want to try!


  2. Cookin' Canuck said:

    These are beautiful! How lucky you are to have those wonderful memories of your grandparents.


  3. ruth said:

    Love the story and especially love the filling! Yum!


  4. Frank said:

    What a coincidence! I was just about to blog on ravioli too! (but with tomato sauce…) Anyway, I love these!

    In my family, it was my great-aunt who made ravioli, my grandmother specialized in lasagne… I like to make both :))


  5. sizzlechef said:

    Sounds good. Thank you for sharing. Cheers !


  6. Cappelletti with Parmesan and breadcrumbs… I’m a fresh pasta maniac! | Juls' Kitchen said:

    [...] realized how much I love fresh filled pasta, made according old traditions. This reminded me of Grandma’s ravioli, Rossella’s Cjalsòns or the typical pici pasta from Siena. I realized I had fun making these [...]

  7. Fresh Pasta Monthly Mingle.. let’s make it the Italian way! | Juls' Kitchen said:

    [...] fancy the most, to make tagliatelle, malfatti, orecchiette, pici, or even attempt a filled pasta as ravioli or tortelli. Select your ingredients, mix them up with a personal hint and mingle with us as a real [...]

  8. Francesca said:

    I love ravioli maremmani. I make the pasta using a bit more eggs though – 1 egg per 100g flour. In this way the mix will never be dried especially if using semolina flour which is quite coarse.

    Likewise for the filling I do 50:50 spinach and ricotta as if the ricotta is good it makes the filling more firm and less liquid. Give it a try and tell me what you think! :-)


  9. Comfort from the Cold | Vastrap Farm said:

    [...] is out there and how many people are sharing their passion on the internet. For the pasta I used Grandma Menna’s ravioli from Juls’ Kitchen. It is extremely simple, but delicious. I learnt that for ravioli you only roll the pasta to the [...]

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