The 10 Best Ravioli Makers
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Many pasta lovers have looked over the menu at an Italian restaurant and found the dishes to be a bit uninspired. So we rounded up some ravioli makers that will allow you to fill these heavenly dumplings with anything you'd like, and can create such perfect, evenly-cut pockets that your guests might believe you had the dinner catered. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ravioli maker on Amazon.
A Brief History Of Ravioli
If you want to revisit your childhood, you can find meat- and cheese-filled varieties, including the beloved Chef Boyardee, in the canned aisle.
You may think of ravioli as a food all its own, but technically, it's a type of dumpling, which is defined as two thin pieces of dough wrapped around a filling. Some food historians believe the name "ravioli" comes from an old Italian word, riavvolgere, which means "to wrap." Its earliest known acknowledgment was in a personal letter written in the 14th century by an Italian merchant named Francesco di Marco Datini. He described the filling as a mixture of fresh herbs, egg, and cheese, and wrote that the finished product was served swimming in a flavorful broth full of "sweet and strong spices."
Surprisingly, this delicious filled pasta was already known in England during the 14th century as "rauioles," probably originating from Sicily or Malta. These early varieties were typically stuffed with ricotta cheese made from sheep's milk. Years later, Italian chef Bartolomeo Scappi served ravioli with boiled chicken at a meeting to elect the successor to Pope Paul III. It wasn't until the 16th century, when tomatoes were introduced to Italy from the New World, that ravioli first began to be served with red sauce.
Today, the dish is so popular that National Ravioli Day is celebrated every year on March 20th. There are many kinds of pre-made ravioli, in various shapes with a wide array of fillings, available at the grocery store if you don't have the energy to make your own. If you want the freshest version possible, head to the refrigerated section, usually near the deli, where you'll find mostly vegetarian options due to the short shelf life. You can also buy frozen ravioli in some stores, which is the next best thing to fresh. If you want to revisit your childhood, you can find meat- and cheese-filled varieties, including the beloved Chef Boyardee, in the canned aisle.
Ravioli Across The Globe
While they may go by different names, there are many dishes around the world that are very similar to ravioli. After all, who wouldn't love delicious fillings wrapped in two layers of dough?
They are sometimes shaped triangularly, with the three sides symbolizing Jewish patriarchs or holidays, but can be molded in any fashion you prefer.
In Italy, each region has its own spin on ravioli, depending on local flavors and ingredients. In Emilia-Romagna, which is sometimes called "the capital of filled pasta," it was traditionally served in broth, meat sauce, or with fresh cream, and stuffed with mortadella or prosciutto and cheese. In Tuscany, it was cooked over a fire rather than boiled, and was often filled with mashed potatoes and served with a vegetable-heavy sauce.
The Asian equivalent to ravioli is known as jiaozi, or gyōza. Each family or restaurant has its own preferred recipe, but they can be filled with a huge range of meats, vegetables, and herbs, including cabbage, green onions, garlic, ginger, and minced pork, beef, or chicken. These delicacies can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried, or even served in soup.
Pierogi are the crescent-shaped Eastern European ravioli, commonly found in Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. They can be stuffed with potato, sauerkraut, ground meats, and sometimes even fruit, and are typically served with toppings such as sour cream and fried onions.
In Jewish cuisine, you'll find kreplach, which are typically filled with meat or mashed potatoes and served floating in chicken soup, though they can also be fried. They are sometimes shaped triangularly, with the three sides symbolizing Jewish patriarchs or holidays, but can be molded in any fashion you prefer.
What To Stuff It With
If you're going to make your own homemade ravioli, the sky is the limit as far as fillings go. You can stick with the traditional or go for more avant-garde combinations, depending on your mood. For a strictly old-school Roman approach, you'll need ricotta cheese, spinach, nutmeg, and black pepper. You can also go the minimalist route with the Sardinian approach consisting simply of ricotta and lemon zest.
But, if you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, there are endless numbers of ingredients you can experiment with. Everyone, from the meat lover to the strict vegan, is sure to find a recipe they'll love.
For carnivores, pretty much any type of meat that you'd typically find on a pizza will work. Ground beef and Italian sausage are the most commonly used, but if you're feeling reckless, you can go with a seafood option like crab or lobster.
Everyone, from the meat lover to the strict vegan, is sure to find a recipe they'll love.
However, if you're not big on meat, there are myriad combinations of cheeses and vegetables to try. You can go for the simple and safe, like spinach and ricotta, or take a walk on the wild side with beets, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and pretty much any type of mushroom you can think of. Fresh corn is also a popular choice during the summertime.
A popular dish among foodies, pumpkin ravioli is somehow light and rich at the same time. It's filled with roasted and puréed pumpkin mixed with egg yolk, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and nutmeg, and the finished product is often served drizzled with sage-infused clarified butter.
Ravioli is best known as a main course, but it's much more versatile than that. You can also deep fry it and serve it as an appetizer with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, and it can be used in place of regular pasta in soups and salads. It can even be turned into a dessert — just imagine a lightly toasted pasta shell stuffed with Nutella, cinnamon apples, or pumpkin pie filling, and tell me your mouth isn't watering.
And, if the idea of rolling out thin sheets of dough, stuffing them, and cutting them into squares sounds like way too much work, you can even make nudi, or "naked" ravioli, which is basically just balls of filling served with or without a side of pasta.
What I'm getting at here is that ravioli can be endlessly customized to suit anyone's personal tastes. At its heart, it's a classic comfort food, and no matter how outlandish your preferred fillings happen to be, you should never be ashamed of them. Go with your gut.
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