A Valentine's Day Treat: Homemade Ravioli

Are you looking for a new recipe to spice up your normal repetoire of dinners? Maybe you’re looking for a special dish for a special Valentine’s Day dinner. This month’s recipe: Homemade Meat and Cheese Ravioli may be just the ticket!

At our house, ravioli night is a special occasion--something I make to celebrate a birthday or even New Years Eve. Preparing it makes a fun day in the kitchen on a wintry afternoon, and everyone who tastes it appreciates our effort.

Let's get started:

HOMEMADE RAVIOLI

The first step to preparing ravioli is to make the filling. You can make either meat or cheese ravioli. How much you make depends on how many people you are serving. I recommend making 4-5 ravioli per person.

To make meat ravioli:

1. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to hamburger. Mix together.

2. Form hamburger into small patties about 1 inch round.

3. Fry the small patties until they are well done.

4. Remove from frying pan and set aside on a plate.

(To make this meal healthier, I use 96% lean hamburger)

For cheese ravioli:

1. Grate 1/4 mozerella cheese.

2. Mix with 2 Tablespoons ricotta cheese.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.

4. Place cheese mixture in the refrigerator.

These amounts will make about 8 cheese ravioli. Double or triple the ingredients if you need more. To reduce the fat content, I use part skim cheeses. You could also use fat free cheese if you choose.

The next step is to make the dough.

The recipe for the dough is:

Mix together: 1 egg, 2 cups of flour, and 1/4 cup warm water.

Now it’s time to assemble the ravioli:

1. Divide the dough into 3 parts.

2. Roll dough as thin as possible onto a lightly floured board.

3. Cut into circles 2 ½ inches round. I use a biscuit cutter, but you could use the top of a glass or anything that will cut the right size circles.

4. Cut all the circles at one time and set them aside on a cookie sheet.

5. To assemble the ravioli, place 2 circles on the lightly floured board.

6. Place a small hamburger patty or a teaspoon of cheese mixture on one round.

7. Wet the edges of the other round and place it on top of the first.

8. Pinch the edges together.

9. Take a fork and gently press around the entire compass of the ravioli.

10. You’ve just made a ravioli! Set it aside and finish the rest.

When all of the ravioli are assembled, it is time to boil them.

Cook about a dozen of them in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

When they are done boiling, lift them out with a spoon and place them in a casserole dish with spaghetti sauce on the bottom.

Make sure to cover all ravioli with spaghetti sauce; then add some shredded mozerella cheese to the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

When they are finished baking in the oven, you can serve your delicious, homemade meal. Yummy! It's always a favorite at our house. Whether you serve them as a Valentine’s Day dinner or to your family, I hope they will be one of your favorite recipes as well.

Happy Cooking!!!

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