Ravioli is pasta that is shaped into a pocket, which is filled with various fillings. Fresh or frozen ravioli, when cooked and combined with a tasty sauce, makes a meal that all ages find appetizing. It goes well with a salad or a main dish such as baked fish or chicken.
To prepare ravioli, boil it on the stove top or cook it in the microwave.
Ways to Cook Ravioli
In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, Erica Mouch, RDN, CD, of Erica Mouch Nutrition, tells how to cook ravioli.
Whether your fresh ravioli is homemade or store-bought, you can cook it on the stove top quickly. "First, bring to a boil 4 to 6 quarts of water in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add a heaping teaspoon of salt and the fresh ravioli," Erica says. Make sure none of them are attached to each other as they drop into the water.
"If homemade, fresh ravioli cooking time is two minutes; while if store-bought, it's four to six minutes," Mouch advises. "If you made homemade ravioli and froze the leftovers, you don't need to thaw it before cooking: Just boil it a little longer, about four to six minutes." It's done when it floats to the top.
Read more: How to Cook & Refrigerate Pasta
Microwaving fresh ravioli is equally easy. "Place it in a microwave-safe large bowl with 2 1/2 cups water. Cover it with vented plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring once," she advises. Again, you want the ravioli to float to the top of the bowl.
Ravioli and Pasta-Cooking Tips
Mouch doesn't recommend cooking ravioli in a sauce. "If you want a one-dish meal, you could cook fresh ravioli in broth; however, cooking it in a sauce has the potential to make the sauce more gummy. When it comes to ravioli en brodo (ravioli in broth), the extra starch isn't a negative," she explains.
Aside from ravioli, any pasta may be cooked in the microwave. "Pasta needs to be rehydrated, and microwaving it in water will rehydrate it as well as boiling. To do this, place it in a microwave-safe large bowl with 2 1/2 cups water. Cover it with vented plastic wrap. Fresh pasta cooking time is four to seven minutes on high or until cooked through, stirring twice," Mouch notes.
You can serve ravioli and other pastas with marinara sauce. Other sauce options include a butter sauce, seasoned with basil or lemon juice, or a mushroom sauce with added cream and Parmesan cheese. For made-from-scratch ravioli, the Mayo Clinic has a recipe for one stuffed with butternut squash.
Choose the Healthiest Ravioli
Cheese is the most common filling in ravioli, but they may also contain ground beef or sausage, along with different vegetables. Since red meat is associated with some adverse wellness effects, the healthiest varieties are those with vegetables.
In addition, instead of choosing ravioli made with white flour, look for those made with whole-grain flour. If your supermarket doesn't carry them, you can order them online. Whole grains are a great source of fiber.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should check the label to find out how much fiber a package of ravioli or pasta contains. If it contains at least 3 grams per serving, it's a good source; and if it contains at least 5 grams per serving, it's an excellent source. Alternatively, you can make whole grain ravioli at home.
Read more: 10 Myths About Grains — Totally Busted
Whole grains are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, reports the Whole Grains Council. They're also linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.