Homemade Cheese Ravioli

24 Aug

Print the recipe page!  homemade cheese ravioli

I think you’ll be surprised how easy and fun this dish is to make!  I’m super excited that this time around I finally found an easy and tasty way to make the cheese using all long term ingredients  —  I think you’re going to love it!   I found the idea for it at www.tacticalintelligence.com and then I played around with it and made up a variation that tastes equal to anything I could have put together using fresh ingredients.  The homemade egg noodle recipe is used with permission from the book “The Everyday Gourmet” by Shari Haag.  Another fun thing that I get to share here is my new ravioli rolling pin that makes the process of pressing out the ravioli an absolute cinch!!

You’re going to love being able to make homemade cheese ravioli for your family entirely from long term foods in your food storage!

Serves 6-8

Prep Time:  active prep time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Cheese filling (makes a yummy ricotta style cheese)

4 cups water

2 cans evaporated milk

3 tsp. Citric Acid powder (see notes for where to buy this)

3 cups powdered milk

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

Homemade Egg Noodles

(I doubled the recipe here but next time I’ll triple it because with this new cheese recipe I ended up with extra cheese.)

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1 egg (2 TBS water mixed with 1 TBS whole egg powder)

1 TBS water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. oil

To Serve

favorite jarred spaghetti sauce

additional parmesan cheese

Tools and supplies you’ll need

(*Details as to where to buy these are in the notes following the recipe)

Cheese Cloth

Either a ravioli tray style press ~or~ a ravioli rolling pin.

Manual crank Pasta Maker

Instructions

Cheese filling

In a large pot add 4 cups of water and one can of evaporated milk.  To this add 3 cups powdered milk and whisk until completely combined.  Heat milk to 140 degrees and add 2 tsp. citric acid powder.  You should immediately see curds beginning to form in the milk.  After a few minutes, strain mixture through a cheese cloth lined colander sitting over top of a bowl to catch the liquid.  Reserve this liquid for later step.  Allow the cheese to cool and then using the cheese cloth squeeze out the remaining liquid from the cheese.  Set cheese ball aside in a dish.  Take the remaining liquid from the first strain, still very milky, and heat it on the stove to 140 degrees.  Add 1/4 tsp. at a time of citric acid powder until milk curds develop — for me this second batch required 1 tsp. of citric acid to curd.  Strain this mixture through the cheese cloth lined colander as you did the first, allow it to cool and then squeeze out remaining liquid.  Now as you look at your liquid it should be purely whey, not milky at all.  This liquid can be used if wanted in bread or other recipes.

Break up the two cheese balls using a fork and mix in the other can of evaporated milk until it’s a consistency that you like.  Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/4 tsp. salt (to taste).  Use as desired in ravioli, cannelloni or lasagna.

~~~~~~

First strain…

Second round of cheese curdling.  Heat milk to 140 degrees.  Then add 1/4 tsp at a time of citric acid (you definitely don’t want to add too much) until the milk immediately curds.  For me it required 1 tsp citric acid.

                       

You can see the difference in the liquid against the curds this second time — it’s not milky any more.

Finished cheese balls

Break up cheese using a fork.  You’ll have a crumbly cheese ready to be made into cheese filling.

Add evaporated milk, parmesan cheese and salt.

The finished product… ready to be tucked into some homemade egg noodle yumminess!

Homemade Egg Noodle Ravioli

Measure flour into a bowl.  In a separate small bowl add the last four ingredients and barely stir together with a fork.  Add the liquid mixture to the flour and use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together.  When they can be rolled into a ball, begin to knead as you would with bread for about 10 minutes.  Cover and let sit for 1 hour.

Cut the rested dough ball into a manageable portion and flatten with hands into a flattened shape ready to be pressed in the pasta machine.  Beginning at a level one press size, press the dough through twice or three times at each stage before moving on to the next.  Finish at press size #6.   Lay pressed pasta dough together so as to create a large rectangle of dough, “seaming” the strips together by crimping with a fork.  Spread cheese filling over top of pasta dough using between 1/4 – 1/2 ” layer of cheese filling– be careful not to use too much cheese.  Start a pot of salted water to boil.  Press  your second layer of pasta dough fitting it together and crimping with a fork on a separate cookie sheet before laying it on top of the cheese. Press layered pasta dough and cheese with ravioli rolling pin.  Trim with a pizza cutter and gently separate ravioli, preparing to cook.

To cook, salted water should have reached a rolling boil and then been turned down to simmer so that the movement of the boiling water doesn’t break apart the ravioli.  Using a slotted spoon gently drop in 8-10 ravioli at a time.  They will sink when first dropped in.  Little by little they’ll rise to the top and when they float you’ll know they’re done!  Watch them, if they’re not rising then you may have to use the end of a long spoon to help un-stick any that have gotten stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Transfer to a dish, toss with a bit of oil to keep from sticking together and continue cooking ravioli until all are cooked.  Serve topped with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese.

~~~~~~~~~~

Cover and allow dough to rest for 1 hour.

Pressing the pasta dough

On the opposite side of the crank is a press gauge that allows you to change the thickness of press to different degrees of thickness.  You’ll always begin on level 1 and depending on how thin you want your pasta can press up to a level 7.

Begin with half the dough, flattened by hand.  Press the dough beginning at level 1 and continue pressing to level 6.

Lay pressed dough making a large rectangle, crimping with a fork to seal the edges.

                                      

Layer cheese filling.

Press remaining dough.  If your dough misbehaves like mine did here,  just continue to fold dough and re-press.  By doing this it will eventually decide to cooperate.

Lay top layer of pasta dough on top of cheese filling

Press Ravioli by using a ravioli pressing rolling pin, lining up the edges of the dough with the edges on the pin.

Rolled and ready to trim.  In some areas you can see that I had to patch the ravioli with extra dough.  These ones still ended up cooking just fine — I just left them to cook in the last batch which gave them time to dry out a little bit and not be so fragile in the water.

Carefully trim ravioli to separate using a pizza cutter.

Time to cook!

Serve and enjoy~

The Blind Taste Test

I thought it would be fun to test my homemade ravioli against the store bought variety with a panel of three very tough judges.

The Challenger:  at $3.69 for about 3 servings and something I can’t store long term, Buitoni’s Four Cheese Ravioli.

The two ravioli side by side — the homemade ravioli has edges that are straight, so we can tell the difference.

Each judge taste tests while wearing a blindfold…

And the winner is ….

2 out of 3 judges chose homemade ravioli as their favorite!  Not too bad!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notes:

  • In the past my two choices to make a ricotta style cheese using long term ingredients were (a) to make “soy cheese” (a mixture of soy powder and water, similar in taste to tofu /not too exciting), or (b) make it by using yogurt to curd the milk.  With the yogurt option I’d need to have to have yogurt made ahead of time which was more than I wanted to have to do, thus my search for another way that would still work.  This recipe is it!
  • The original recipe for the cheese filling calls for only powdered milk.  I’ve made mozzarella style cheese in the past using just powdered milk and  it was okay though noticeably missing the fat –which is basically what makes cheese taste so yummy.  To add at least a little fat back into it I decided to try adding some evaporated milk in along with the powdered.  I’m thinking that the evaporated milk is the reason that there has to be two curdling and straining processes.  During one trial in testing it I tried adding 3 tsp. citric acid to the original batch to try to get it to curd all at once but it ended up ruining the whole batch — I had to throw it away and start over — yet for some reason by reheating the liquid from the first strain and curdling that separately you’re able to completely use all of the milk for cheese.   Go figure.
  • The reason I chose to use citric acid rather than vinegar in the cheese (what the original recipe calls for) was to decrease how sour it was.  It wasn’t bad, but it was definitely much more sour and I wasn’t sure my kids would go for that.  You can buy citric acid powder at most health and vitamin stores.
  • Now that I’ve found this ravioli rolling pin I prefer it hands down to my previous tool, the ravioli tray.  Rolling this across the pasta and cheese layers takes less than 20 seconds and the tedious work of making ravioli is done!
  • Where to buy:  The Ravioli Rolling Pin — I found mine at Sur La Table for $18.00 (*updated since checking my reciept).  For $18.56 plus shipping you can buy it online at Amazon.  For the manual Atlas Pasta Machine, you can buy it on Amazon as well although  I’m shocked at the price there of $85.00 — we got ours for half of that so I’m sure you can shop around for a better deal.

In my book this recipe is used as a:

*Long Term Recipe

*3 month meal


7 Responses to “Homemade Cheese Ravioli”

  1. Tactical Intelligence August 25, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Megan,

    This recipe is awesome! I’ve got to try this upgraded version of the cheese (as well as the homemade pasta). Btw, I definitely need to get my hands on one of those ravioli rolling pins. I always wondered how they made ravioli. Great job!

    – Erich

    • myfoodstoragecookbook August 25, 2011 at 2:42 am #

      Thank YOU for the idea! This cheese filling can go with so many things — I’m so happy to have a recipe now that is both easy to make and tastes good. What a great site you have btw.

      • Tactical Intelligence August 25, 2011 at 5:12 am #

        Thanks! I think your site is fantastic and have added it in the links section.

  2. Ashley P. August 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Love the idea of the kids doing a blind taste test! This looks so yum!

  3. PlicketyCat September 19, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    I made this ravioli and it’s a hit. Three variations that also worked:
    1) Using the original dry-milk-only cheese recipe but mixing in some condensed cream of mushroom soup after draining, which adds some fat and creaminess back in and you get cheesy mushroom ravioli (excellent with pesto or cream sauce!)
    2) Using the upgraded cheese filling mixture and mixing it with some canned ground beef that I added Italian seasonings to — it makes a little more than a double batch, so you’ll need more dough
    3) Using freeze-dried mozz and cottage cheese for the the filling instead of making the ricotta from scratch… the FD cheeses could turn this into a solar oven meal if you made Ravioli al Forno (baked) in sauce instead of boiling and topping with sauce.

    As a combo storage method, I made a huge batch of these ravioli from dry ingredients, and then froze them flat and stored them in serving-sized zip bags for a quicker alternative. They froze wonderfully and cooked great from frozen. Since it’s cold enough here in the winter to use our shed as a freezer for several months, I might just make a big batch of these in the fall when I make my harvest pasta sauce and store them in sauce in containers in the freezer-shed instead of canning all the sauce.

    I’ve been thinking about trying to make raviolis I can stuff with dry freeze-dried mozzarella, cottage cheese and Italian sausage crumbles and then dry the completed stuffed pastas for a shelf-stable ready-to-boil alternative. Don’t know if that will work for an instant meal or if the the filling will properly rehydrate in the boiling water. Might still be crunchy in the center or the pasta may fall apart, but I’ll let you know the results of the experiment either way!

    • myfoodstoragecookbook September 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      Wonderful ideas Plickety — I can’t wait to try them — thanks so much for sharing!! Please let me know if that last idea works for you, I’d love to hear!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Homemade Pasta: Four favorite varieties « My Food Storage Cookbook - October 25, 2012

    [...] homemade egg noodle recipe is also the one I’ve used for making ravioli.  It’s also a great recipe to use in chicken noodle [...]

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