The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken (2024)

The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes ofHoboken (1)

When The Daring Kitchen asked me to review “The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken” by Laura Schenone, I was excited because I had seen the book before and I have quite an interest in making ravioli. This particular ravioli is made with a special rolling pin that has a checkerboard pattern which makes ravioli very quickly. It's a fun method to try and I think if you are a beginner to ravioli, it is an especially easy method.

Laura Schenone is a food writerliving in Hoboken, New Jersey who becomes a little obsessed in her search for the origins of the family ravioli recipe. The ravioli was originally made by her Italian great grandmother, Adalgiza, who immigrated to New Jersey from Italy. Her quest for this recipe leads her to long lost cousins and aunts across the country who finally send her the original ravioli recipe.

The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes ofHoboken (2)

When she receives the original recipe, however, it contains a surprising ingredient – Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Laura is stumped by this – why on earth would her Italian ancestor make her ravioli with this very American ingredient? The recipe also contains ground veal and ground pork, but they are left raw in the assembly of the ravioli. She had never heard of leaving the meat raw in ravioli. She even consults Marcella Hazan and Giuliano Bugialli for answers. They are just as mystified. Her curiosity consumes her and in her search for the answers, she travels to Liguria, from where her great grandparents immigrated and learns ravioli making from all sorts of people. She realizes the absurdity of her quest to find the authentic recipe when she finds herself interviewing Sergio Rossi, director of the Genoa chapter of the organization devoted to conserving the culture and foods of the Mediterranean. He is a little confused about her search for such an authentic recipe and tells her, “There is no one taste,” he says. “Each village has its own way. Each family has its own way. Things vary even within a family. I can share with you my tradition, but not the tradition.” And there lies the great lesson of the book – there is no one way to make something.

I made the family’s traditional cream cheese ravioli recipe. I was anxious to know what the cream cheese would be like in the filling. This recipe calls for the raw meat, of course, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that so I did cook it and then put it through my meat grinder so it would be very fine, which is important when making a filling for ravioli. Otherwise, I made the recipe exactly from the book and it was delicious. I loved the tanginess of the cream cheese. I also liked using the checkered rolling pin because I believe you can make ravioli faster this way and my husband liked the fact that there were no “borders” around the individual raviolo and so the ravioli were mostly stuffing.

The meats need to be ground fairly fine for ravioli. I used my KitchenAid meat grinder attachment. If you don't have one, you can use your food processor.

If you would like to read the full review I wrote of the book, please go to The Daring Kitchen.

The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes ofHoboken (3)

Adalgiza and Tessie's Ravioli

adapted from The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken

for a printable recipe, click here

Makes 250-300 ravioli. (I cut the recipe in half when I made it and had over 100 ravioli)

The recipe is printed exactly as it was in her original recipe. The notes in parentheses is just how I changed it a little when I made it.


For the pasta:

  • 5 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 eggs (I doubled the amount of eggs)
  • 1-1/2 cups water, approximately (start slow and use judgment)

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 or 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, cooked, and all water squeezed out (I used fresh spinach, about 10 ounces, steamed, water squeezed out and then finely chopped)
  • 1 pound veal, ground finely
  • 1 pound pork, ground finely
  • salt and pepper
  • dash freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dry (optional)
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 eggs


Make your pasta dough, wrap in floured plastic, and let it rest.

Brown the meats in a fry pan. Let cool. Run the meat through a grinder (or food processor), so it is very fine.

In a large bowl, cream the cheese with an electric mixer until it is soft. Add the spinach, meats and seasonings. Mix well with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the cheese and eggs.

Roll out the dough very thin (on my rollers, I do not go past #5 for ravioli - otherwise the ravioli can break).

When you have two sheets of dough (or one very long sheet, cut in half) lay one sheet on your workspace, spread some of the filling thinly on the pasta, leaving a half inch border. Lay the other sheet on top. Roll firmly with the checkered pin. Cut the ravioli apart with a fluted pastry wheel.

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The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes ofHoboken (5)

The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes ofHoboken (6)

Place the ravioli on a floured sheet pan. (If you want to freeze these, pop the pan into the freezer and place the frozen ravioli in ziplock bags. No need to thaw when you cook them). If you are not cooking the ravioli within an hour, place them in the refrigerator.

Continue to make the ravioli until all your filling is used.

Cook in a large pot of salted water for about 2-3 minutes. Don't let the ravioli boil too vigorously or they may break apart. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with a little marinara sauce.

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The Italian Dish - Posts - The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken (2024)


How to cook ravioli so it doesn't fall apart? ›

If the water is at a rolling boil, no matter how well they are made might have a tendency to split or open up. My second tip is to bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer, where the ravioli will thoroughly cook, but gently enough that it won't tear or split the pasta.

How long to cook fresh ravioli? ›

Ravioli Cooking Instructions

Bring your water in your pot to a gentle boil . 3. Let the raviolis boil for 4-5 minutes and gently stir. Once they have floated allow for 2 minutes to fully cook.

Can you pan fry ravioli instead of boiling? ›

Pan-fried ravioli (and gnocchi) have a crispy crust, a warm gooey center, and they take on sauce beautifully. Cooking your ravioli in a skillet also reduces the time you need to wait until you are enjoying a plate of your delicious, perfectly sauced, crispy ravioli since you are not waiting for the water to boil.

Why is my ravioli hard after cooking? ›

Pasta that is soft and mushy is usually overcooked, while if it's crunchy and hard, this is a good indication that you haven't cooked it for long enough.

Do you cook ravioli with the lid on or off? ›

By covering the pot, no water vapor can escape, meaning the temperatures will rise a bit more quickly than if the pot was uncovered (via Cook's Illustrated). Once the water has come to a bubbly boil and you've added the pasta, the Italian experts from Eataly recommend removing the lid.

Do you rinse ravioli after boiling? ›

Do Not Rinse. Pasta should never, ever be rinsed for a warm dish. The starch in the water is what helps the sauce adhere to your pasta. The only time you should ever rinse your pasta is when you are going to use it in a cold dish like a pasta salad or when you are not going to use it immediately.

What is the best flour to use for ravioli? ›

00 flour is a soft wheat flour that's perfect for baking, especially cakes and crumbly pastries. You can also use soft wheat flour for pasta, due to its texture and powdery consistency. Not only is it ideal for softer pasta shapes like tagliatelle, it is also the best flour for ravioli pasta.

How do you get ravioli to stick together? ›

Press really firmly so the two layers are stuck together really well. This is key so the pasta doesn't end up too thick. Don't worry if there are pleats. An optional step is using a wooden dowel or pencil to gently roll in between the filling.

How do you cook pasta without it falling apart? ›

A large volume of water at a rolling boil helps keep the pasta separated from each other. The pieces are constantly agitated by the water and thus cook more evenly with fewer clumps. Reason 3. A small volume of water will become too starchy as the pasta cooks.

How do you keep pasta from falling apart? ›

Wait for the water to come to a rapid, extravagant boil, then add the pasta. Stir the pasta immediately after adding it to the water, and occasionally during cooking. This will prevent it from sticking together. Drain the pasta in a colander, and gently shake to remove any excess water.

Why are my ravioli not sticking together? ›

Another way to prevent them from sticking together, besides making sure you never drain ravioli in a colander, is to make sure you're using plenty of water while cooking so the ravioli can move around and aren't bunched together.


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