I don’t know about you, but in our house, National Ravioli Day falling on the first day of Spring is cause for a celebration. And, well, the 21st of March is my birthday so I’m already party-ready. What better way to celebrate than with creamy ricotta cheese enveloped in fresh pasta dough? I know! Let’s go all-out for this Spring-Pasta-Bday trifecta with a never before seen recipe...Drumroll, please! Introducing Funfetti Ravioli Primavera! This homemade pasta dish is the perfect celebratory meal packed fresh of colorful confetti-inspired Spring vegetables and served in a classic white wine, lemon and butter sauce. This recipe is so much fun and may even be enough to get your kiddos to eat their veggies! Making ravioli is one of my favorite kitchen past-times. Keep reading for everything you need to know to join me in this celebratory meal!
How to Make Ravioli From Scratch
Handmade ravioli are a staple at the foodworthfeed household. In 2013, when Scott and I started dating, we attempted homemade pasta on one of our first dates. Since then, we’ve made fresh pasta together almost every week. It’s our ultimate comfort food. The only thing we like more than homemade pasta is homemade pasta filled with cheese. (Duh.) Alas, this Funfetti Ravioli Primavera recipe is a keeper. For the best results, we recommend you use our Homemade Semolina Pasta Dough recipe. Below, we’ll get you acquainted with everything we wish we knew when we began our lifelong pasta-making adventure.
If you have a tray mold for ravioli that you like, go ahead and use that. Personally, we’ve never had much success with those molds. Instead, we just use the countertop and a circular ravioli stamp. Ravioli stamps can be purchased online for a few dollars. Otherwise, you can use a circular (or scallop-edged) cookie or biscuit cutter. You could also make square (or triangular ravioli) with a pizza or pastry wheel. What I'm trying to say is, you don't necessarily need a bunch of fancy tools to make ravioli. In fact, while we certainly recommend a pasta maker, hand-rolled pasta is certainly achievable. No matter what method you use, we promise you'll be bubbling with pride when you put this meal on the table. It is so fun, so pretty and may not be as difficult as you think! Check out our quick YouTube video to see how it’s done!
- Prepare the pasta dough and farce (ravioli filling).
- Roll the pasta dough into sheets.
- Scoop the filling onto a sheet of pasta dough.
- With a wet pastry brush, lightly wet the dough surrounding the filling.
- Lay a second sheet of pasta over the scoops of filling.
- Using your fingertips, seal the sheets of dough together around each scoop of filling.
- Using a ravioli stamp, cookie cutter or pizza wheel, cut out each individual ravioli.
- Allow ravioli to dry on a mesh drying rack or cookie sheet sprinkled with semolina flour.
- Repeat with remaining dough and dough scraps.
- Boil in salted water, drain, sauce and enjoy homemade ravioli at home!
Advice for Perfect Parcels of Pasta
- Use a trusted pasta dough recipe. Some pasta dough recipes are better suited for long noodles. Other recipes are specifically designed for filled pastas. We recommend using our own Best, Easy Homemade Semolina Pasta Dough recipe. This pasta recipe is an all-purpose pasta dough suitable for most styles of pasta (including noodles and filled pastas, like this Funfetti Ravioli Primavera).
- Keep farce (ravioli filling) dry. This is SO important! We lost a few of our first batches of ravioli to wet ricotta. If your ricotta is loose (or has any liquid piling in the container), we recommend straining the cheese. Simply put the ricotta into a fine mesh strainer and allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes until liquid had drained and you are left only with thick, creamy curds. If it still seems too moist, fold in 1 - 2 Tablespoons of fine breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs will help to absorb any additional moisture.
- Roll pasta dough thin. Ravioli has two sheets of pasta. To avoid overly thick pasta that will not cook through, roll your dough very thinly. We use a popular home pasta maker, a hand-crank Atlas 150 Marcato (not a sponsor). On this machine, we roll pasta to the setting labeled '7'. This gives us sheets of pasta that are 1.3 millimeters thick.
- Use ample filling. Ravioli is all about that filling, baby! Don't skimp! We use a rounded Tablespoon scoop, for consistency. If you don't have a scoop, we recommend using a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner cut off) to portion your filling.
Advice for Perfect Parcels of Pasta, Continued...(2 of 2)
- Avoid trapping air. Be careful not to seal air inside your ravioli pockets! Air will expand during the boil and cause your ravioli to burst! If it is easier for you, cut the second sheet of pasta dough in large squares and seal around each lump of filling individually. (As opposed to doing a whole sheet at a time).
- Seal well with a small amount of moisture. You will need a little moisture to seal the dough together. However, be careful not to overdue it! We like to use a barely wet pastry brush to lightly moisten the dough around the filling.
- Keep your surface well-floured to avoid sticking. Inevitably, the ravioli filling will have some moisture and begin to saturate the dough on your work surface. Keep your station well-floured and wiggle your dough sheet around the floured surface to make sure your ravioli come up with ease.
- Dry ravioli on rack or sheet pan before cooking. Drying pasta helps to ensure even cooking. The drying process also causes some microscopic cracking in the surface of the dough. Those teeny-tiny cracks help to soak up more of your delicious sauces!
- Use a spider utensil (otherwise known as a skimmer) to remove ravioli from the pot. We recommend using a spider utensil to gently strain your ravioli from the pot without any damage to your pasta (and while reserving your starchy pasta water!). If using a colander, be very careful to dump your ravioli as slowly and gently as possible.
- Finish cooked ravioli directly in the sauce. We recommend taking your cooked ravioli directly from it's hot bath and into your sauce pan. The pasta starches will bind with your pan sauce and create thick, saucy-goodness that will cling to every bite!
In Italian, Primavera means 'Spring". Here, in the United States, we use the word Primavera to refer to a dish abundant with fresh, Spring vegetables. This Funfetti Ravioli Primavera is just that. For the rainbow effect, we used red and yellow bell peppers, shaved carrots, asparagus and red onion. (Shouldn’t we call those purple onions!? We’ll start the petition.) We stuffed little flecks of these veggies right into the creamy ricotta filing. Then, we sprinkled even more diced vegetables over the top. The raw garnish veggies add a bright pop of color and a fresh, crunchy bite.
Bringing the Fun with Funfetti
If you know Scott and I personally, you probably know we have a soft spot for the sprinkle-speckled joy of funfetti confections. In fact, we even had a funfetti-inspired wedding cake. Scott is a phenomenal cook, but he isn’t much of a baker. Nevertheless, every Spring you’ll find him carefully stirring batter, in our kitchen. Once a year, he prepares me a fluffy white funfetti cake - straight from the boxed mix. We don’t eat overly-processed foods too often, we prefer to make things from scratch. However, this is a cherished tradition that will live on. (And, come on, who doesn’t love boxed cake? That sweet, nostalgic flavor is just like being five again.)
Confetti Veggies for Funfetti Filling
Since National Ravioli Day falls right before my birthday, I decided to extend the funfetti tradition into the savory side of things. Our Funfetti Ravioli Primavera was born! Instead of using sprinkles to vibrantly speckle this pasta, I cut tiny squares of “confetti” vegetables. For the filling, I wanted the vegetables to be very small, as not to effect the creamy texture. Here’s how I did it:
- Firstly, I cut the bell peppers and red onion into teeny 2 x 2 millimeter cubes. (This old-school French technique, called brunoise, requires a sharp knife and a lot of patience!) To save on time, you could simply mince (or even food-process) the onion and bell peppers.
- For the carrots, I used a vegetable peeler to slice long ribbons of carrot, first. Then, I cut each ribbon into tiny squares.
- For the asparagus, I started by removing (and reserving) the tips. Then, I sliced each stalk into quarters, lengthwise, before fine dicing. (The asparagus we had were very skinny. For thick stalks of asparagus, you could treat it like the carrot by peeling ribbons prior to fine dicing).
- To cook the vegetables, I heated a little butter in a skillet. The goal is to sauté the vegetables quickly, as not to overcook. First, add the onion and cook until translucent. The onion will need to be cooked slightly more than the other vegetables . Next, add the peppers and sauté briefly. Finally, toss in the asparagus, give it a quick swirl and immediately remove the vegetables from the heat. Stir the confetti veggies into your ricotta filling immediately, to stop the cooking and keep the colors vibrant.
Confetti Primavera for Pretty Pasta
For the vegetables used to garnish the dish, I kept the “confetti” slightly larger and completely raw. (Except for the red onion brunoise (fine dice), which is cooked in the sauce. A little more on that, below). For the red and yellow bell peppers, a small-dice sized square (¼ x ¼ inch, or 6x6 millimeters) is perfect. Since the carrots will be raw, as well, I shaved them with a vegetable peeler - as I did for the Funfetti Ravioli Primavera filling. Then, I cut them into small squares, similar to the peppers. Finally, for the asparagus, I cut small rounds of the stalks and reserved the feathery tops, for garnishing, as well.
Butter Sauce for Birthdays (and, well, Everyday)
Butter sauce on everything, please! The sauce for this Funfetti Ravioli recipe is a classic white wine-butter-lemon sauce. It’s a Primavera pairing from Heaven. A little red onion and garlic is sautéed in olive oil. Then, comes the white wine and a little starchy pasta water. After a quick reduction, the sauce is finished with a squeeze of lemon a sprinkle of salt and a couple pats of butter. Sweet, sweet simplicity - at it’s finest.
Let’s be real, this simple sauce can go with SO much more than just Funfetti Ravioli Primavera. (Though, we must admit, it’s a magical pairing). You can use this sauce for shrimp scampi, spooned-over fish, drizzled over oven-roasted chicken, and more!
Share Your Success!
Happy Spring eating! We love cooking with fresh, seasonal vegetables and this recipe has us excited for all the Earth’s beautiful bounty to come! We can’t wait to see your Spring celebrations featuring this cheerful pasta dish! If you have any questions about making handmade pasta or this delicious Funfetti Ravioli Primavera, please reach out to us! We love hearing from you! When this recipe makes its way to your table, be sure to drop us a comment below! And, as always, tag @foodworthfeed in your Instagram posts and stories. We’d can’t wait to feature your creations! We love having a seat at your table, you’ll always have one at ours!
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