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Ravioli is usually a versatile and delicious meal, and although homemade pasta may seem like a challenge there are actually several tricks that help make the process easy and possibly as fun to make as it may be to eat. Generally, it is recommended to buy pre-prepared flat dough and invest in a ravioli maker. An ice cream scoop or teaspoon may also help to create consistent portion sizes. Freshly made pasta is best stored in the freezer or refrigerator until it is time to be cooked.
Some small Italian goods shops and a few grocery stores may sell pasta dough pre-prepared in large flat sheets. These make for faster and convenient cooking. It is also possible to use egg roll or wonton wraps if pre-prepared pasta dough is unavailable. Egg roll wraps tend to be thicker and may work better than the wonton, however, both may have a slightly different taste than regular dough. Homemade dough may also work, but it is recommended to roll the dough flat in smaller pieces to achieve the correct thickness required for the pasta.
Several people recommend investing in a ravioli maker or a ravioli cutter. The pasta maker is a two-piece plaque that can make several pieces at once and also aids in the portion control for the filler. These typically come in square, round or semi-circle shapes, although specialty shops may carry other shapes. A standard cutter works similar to a pizza cutter, but creates the serrated edges for which the pasta is known.
When making ravioli the first few times, many people find they are unable to make pasta that is the same size. Many cooks suggest using a small ice cream scoop or teaspoon to ensure that each piece of ravioli has the same amount of filling. This may in turn help to make the pasta look the same, because the amount of filling dictates the spacing of the rest of the pasta. Larger ravioli should be spaced about two inches apart, while smaller ravioli may be placed closer.
Fresh pasta tends to have a much shorter shelf-life compared to dried pasta. As such, it is recommended to cook the pasta immediately or store the pasta in the refrigerator or the freezer until it is time for them to be cooked. Many people may suggest to lay each piece of ravioli flat on a sheet to prevent them from sticking. If they are lightly covered in flour or cornmeal, however, it is possible to pile them on top of one another to save space.
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