255 of 263 people found the following review helpful
works as well as it could (it's not magical),
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This review is from: Norpro Ravioli Maker With Press (Kitchen)
Making ravioli, in my limited experience, is not easy. It takes care, attention to detail, and good tools.
Oh, and lots of time!
I am pretty far from perfecting my technique, and I still get frustrated with the process (sometimes to the point of literally screaming in the kitchen).
If you feel you're up for the challenge, though, you could do much worse that purchasing one of these to help make the process a little easier.
I've used other tools, and this is the best and quickest (where "quick" is a relative term).
Here are a handful of pointers so maybe you can learn a little from my mistakes:
- be careful not to roll your dough too thin or it won't have the stretching room it will need
- don't make it too dry either or it won't have the flexibility it needs when you're working it
- both of the above are totally subjective, so you'll have to experiment to get it right (and here lies one frustration factor)
- flour the side of the dough well where it touches the metal tray or the pressed ravioli will not release (more frustration)
- be thoughtful about rolling it to the proper width so that it will fit properly on the metal tray of the press while also not wasting loads of your lovely fresh dough
- air inside ravioli is bad. it will cause them to burst while boiling.
- fill the indentations with enough filling so that the top surface (pasta and filling) across the metal tray is as level as possible before you brush with egg wash and lay on the top dough layer. This will help minimize the amount of air you will get inside the sealed ravioli
- lay the top layer of dough down gently working from one end or edge to the other and pressing down as you go so that you eliminate as much air as possible from between the layers
- after you've rolled over the tray to separate the individual ravioli, you may want/need to do a final quick check on some or all of the ravioli to press out any remaining air. I use a toothpick to prick a little hole near one corner, and then work from the opposite corner to press out air and firm up the seal on each little packet.
finally! you might think you've worked hard enough by now, but while you're going through tray after tray, trying to work quickly before your dough dries out, you might get busted at the end unless you do the following...
- be careful about the moisture level in your filling! if it is too wet, the dough on your completed ravioli will get soggy while you are working on the rest, and this may result in things sticking together when you least want them to right as you are finally about to toss them into the gently boiling water (never a rolling boil, because that will either burst the ravioli, or cook them on the otside before they're finished on the inside).
- add breadcrumbs to filling to adjust moisture level (more experimentation)
- flour the outside of each finished ravioli thoroughly. if you get too much flour in your cooking water, you can always change it out for fresh water, but you can't fix two or more ravioli that have formed a tragic sticky glob of glued together raw ingredients.
That's about it. The product itself is great. The process gets easier with lots of practice.
I'm thinking there's a reason why ravioli recipes (and techniques) are the sort of thing that get passed down from generation to generation, because it ain't easy coming up with the whole thing from scratch (or from a book).
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Showing 1-10 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 8, 2011 3:46:01 PM PST
D. R. Smith says:
Do you put a toothpick hole in each ravioli or just one for the press?
Posted on Jan 8, 2011 3:47:15 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 8, 2011 3:47:35 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 8:46:42 AM PST
Gotta prick each individual ravioli that has air in it. If you get the right amount of filling in the ravioli before adding the top layer of dough, though, there won't be too many that end up with air in them.
Posted on Feb 11, 2011 4:00:23 PM PST
Blazing Tartan says:
Good review. Very helpful. Thanks! :-)
Posted on Jan 22, 2012 1:33:04 PM PST
Cattle Baron says:
Thanks for taking the time to share your tips. Very helpful
Posted on Jan 23, 2012 6:55:40 AM PST
If you have a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer I would very strongly recommend that you get one of these:
KitchenAid KPRA Pasta Roller Attachment for Stand Mixers
I have not actually used it in collaboration with the ravioli press, but every time that I have used it for other pasta dishes (I made manicotti last night) it has been a wonder. If you're using an Atlas roller, I understand these are also very good:
Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine Motor
Either way, having a motor to do the cranking and rolling makes the whole enterprise go very fast. There are parts of ravioli making that do not go quickly. However, working fast on the dough-rolling is a big deal with ravioli making in particular because it is a very bad thing for the dough to dry out from sitting on the counter for too long.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 11:26:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 11:27:50 AM PST
Thanks for the great review. I bought the KPRA attachments for Christmas last year , and the only thing lacking is the availability of a medium wide cutter between the spaghetti and the fettuccine.
I first make balls of dough out of three eggs each and let them rest until all the eggs are used up. Then I roll out all the sheets of dough from the first ball and stack them with plastic wrap in between to keep them from drying out. I then switch to the cutter and run them all though before switching back to the roller for the next ball. I repeat for the rest of the balls in sequence.
Dough for pasta noodles has to be on the dry side to prevent sticking as they go through the cutter. I can imagine that ravioli would be a little on the wet side to insure that the top and bottom stick. I would hate the thought of a batch of them coming apart in the boiling water!
Using this procedure, I can do an eighteen egg batch of dough in only two hours. They will produce 24 servings of two ounces each [dry]. I don't have a ravioli maker and am considering this product. Your hints have been helpful. Do you have any stuffing recipes? THX.
Posted on Dec 25, 2012 8:53:13 AM PST
Bruce Benjamin says:
I have one of these ravioli makers and I agree with the majority of the comments and instructions given by the reviewer. Regarding the moisture of the dough; I've found that making the dough a little more moist than I do when cutting the dough into strips on the Atlas pasta machine yields good results. You need the dough soft enough to stretch and to stick together. But you don't want the dough sticky. As the reviewer said, this is subjective, so some trial and error is going to be part of it. But I found that I got it right on the first try. My main point is that I've found that the dryness of the sheets that is perfect for cutting into fettuccine, is a little too dry for making ravioli. Another thing I've found is that, while you don't want to have a lot of air in the ravioli, for the reasons the reviewer listed, a little it isn't so bad. I've never used a toothpick to get the air out. I fill the pockets completely, and maybe slightly rounded at the top. Every batch will have maybe a couple or so that have some air in them, but when boiling two or three dozen ravioli at a time I don't think I've ever had more than two or three rupture in the water, and much of the time none of them rupture. Yes, you want to minimize the air, but I think it's more important to make sure you properly seal the top and bottom sheets of pasta together. I always seal my ravioli with a thorough brushing with an egg wash before applying the top layer of pasta. Letting the seals dry for maybe 20 or 30 minutes before cooking will insure that barely any of the raviolis will rupture, even if there is a little bit of air in some of them.
I was a chef for about 10 years and I have more than 20 years experience making pasta using various hand-cranked pasta machines. I was a chef at one place in Portland, Oregon where we made all of our pasta using a large hand-cranked Atlas machine. I don't know how much I made, but it had to be way over a thousand pounds of fresh pasta. I didn't use one of these ravioli machines there, but we did make them by hand using large sheets of pasta and one of those corrugated, single-wheel pasta cutters. There was usually a little bit of air in the ravioli, (You can't get every bit out) but because we sealed them well with egg wash, we usually had very few ravioli blow-outs.
I've made pasta hundreds of times at home and ravioli probably a few dozen times. There is a bit of a learning curve to get them perfect, but I don't think it's as difficult as the review makes it sound. Or at least, it's easy enough that you will likely have pretty decent ravioli on your first try. I would just recommend getting used to making the pasta first, cutting it into whatever shape you want, before making your first batch of ravioli. Follow the reviewers recommendations, but realize that even if you don't get it exactly right, it's still going to work well if you seal them well and make a tasty filling. One last tip: In all of the restaurants where I've made homemade pasta, we used rice flour to dust the pasta sheets and the finished cut pasta and ravioli. It's relatively course and is perfect for this purpose. It's about the consistency of very fine sand. I keep rice flour at home just for this purpose.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 9:16:24 AM PST
Thanks so much for adding this comment. When I wrote the original review my goal was to help make a useful gadget easier to use. Your additions should further that goal so thanks for sharing your experience.
Posted on Jan 14, 2013 3:45:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 3:59:04 PM PST
Dr. Jarvis L. Doyle says:
i have had one exactly like this one for years. when i settle down to make my raviolis, i generally make 11 to 12 dozen. it takes most of a morning but then i have a quickie meal for my wife and i that i can prepare in mere minutes for 9 meals for us. i use a small pasta roller to cut them free of the mold and drop them on a greased cookie sheet and freeze them. then, after they are frozen, i put them in an air tight container and return to the freezer. when i want a "quickie" meal i simply count out the required amount of raviolis and... voila!!!
i also use a pasta roller with an electric driver for the roller (sold separately). the pasta comes out the perfect thickness and it is a one person operation. it is also fun to create nine meals (for two) at one sitting while enjoying yourself doing it. (maybe i'm just a little nutty but i enjoy doing this - it really is enjoyable.)
NOTE: ALWAYS USE SEMOLINA FLOUR! 2 CUPS FLOUR/ 3 EX LG EGGS + 1TBS OLIVE OIL+ 1 TSP SALT (APPROX.)
jarvis doyle dds (retired)