My Family Ravioli

This is the basic recipe that came from Adalgiza and Tessie, the same that Adele and Linda sent me on that recipe card long ago, the same that Millie and Susan showed me, and the same that I finally made myself. I am grateful to everyone. For now, my official conclusion is that the raw meat has no explanation, other than that it is just the way they did it in our family. That’s all.

Pasta Ingredients

  • 5 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs (some of my relatives use more, some less)
  • 1 ½ cups water (very approximate; start slow and use judgment)


  • 1 or 2 packages cream cheese, 4-ounce size, room temperature (some relatives use 1, others 2)
  • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed (Adagiza used fresh spinach, long ago, so feel free)
  • 1 pound veal, ground twice so it is very fine (ask the butcher to do this)
  • 1 pound pork, ground twice so it is very fine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dry (optional; this is my addition)
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 eggs

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Make your dough and let it rest.

  • 2

    Cream the cheese with a handheld electric blender until it is soft. Put it in a bowl.

  • 3

    Add the spinach, then the meats and seasonings. Mix well with a wooden spoon to combine. Some members of our family use an electric mixer. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and eggs.

  • 4

    Roll out the dough very thin, using a rolling pin to create a large circle.

  • 5

    Fill half the dough with the ripieno (filling), spreading it evenly, not too thick. Fold the other half of the dough over the top of the ripieno. Press with the ravioli press (or roll with a checkered pin). Cut with a rotella.

  • 6

    To eat the same day, dry at least a half hour on a tablecloth or sheet. Or freeze the ravioli on cookie sheets, then transfer them to plastic freezer bags for later use.

  • 7

    Cook in abundantly salted water for approximately 7 minutes (longer than other ravioli because the ripieno is raw). If the ravioli are frozen, you will need to boil them for closer to 10 minutes. Keep a careful eye. Cooking times take judgment. Taste one before draining.

Yield: 250-300 small ravioli, enough for 10-15 people as a first course for a holiday dinner

Alternative: As I describe in my book, I once made this filling by cooking the meat first. I began by mincing a small onion, a clove of garlic, a stalk of celery, and a carrot. I sautéed these in olive oil until soft, then added the meat and cooked it until brown, splashing in white wine—I can’t tell you how much. After this, I added the remaining ingredients. It was quite good. And you don’t need a meat grinder to do this.

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