There are many, many dishes that people know and love that come from countless different places around the world. From the ever-loved pizza to other dishes, there are plenty of meals that a lot of people don’t even realize come from other countries.
Of course, this also means that there is going to be a lot to learn when it comes to cooking; if you are an avid cook, there is going to be a lot of equipment to invest in as well.
If you are interested in cooking a variety of foods, you will have to prepare for eventually investing a fair amount of time and money into different pieces of equipment to help you cook with, from all different kinds of knives for cutting into different things to food processors and containers.
While there are a lot of compromises you can make, such as using a rolling pin to crush nuts rather than a food processor, there are some areas that are harder to compromise with than others.
For example, many people around the world love ravioli. Ravioli can have many different flavors and you can put everything from vegetables to cheese to meat into it. However, most people rely on a few different things to help get the right shape, texture, and size of ravioli they want.
When cooking ravioli, people will commonly use two pieces of kitchen equipment. They will use a ravioli press, which will help them put the ingredients of the ravioli into the pasta without messing the noodle itself up. They will also use a stamp-like object that is known as a ravioli cutter.
These cutters function less as something that “cuts” and more as a stamp. The sheets of pasta need to be filled and cut into the little ravioli pillows, and this needs to happen without tearing the delicate pasta sheets. A specialist ravioli cutter is designed to slice the pasta and seal the edges.
However, if you do not have a ravioli cutter, you may not be so sure how to prepare and separate the ravioli pillows efficiently and safely. This can be quite problematic when you are excited to serve ravioli as a dish.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of different ways that you can make sure that you get your ravioli properly cut up and cooked or dried, even if you do not have a specialized ravioli cutter to help you get the job done.
Separating the Ravioli
Whether or not you use a ravioli press will generally not matter when you are in need of a ravioli cutter. After all, the job of these cutters is to make sure that the ravioli pieces are separated into appropriately sized dumplings so that they are ready for the next step.
Because the job of the cutter is to cut, just about anything with a sharp edge will get the job done.
If you do not have a ravioli cutter, the next best option to work with is going to be a pizza cutter. Functionally, these are more or less the same object in the kitchen.
A ravioli cutter might have ridges on its wheel (if you bought a wheeled one) to create the standard appearance of ravioli but in the end, a pizza cutter will separate the pasta dumplings and it will have the same effect as a ravioli cutter.
When using a pizza cutter, you will want to adhere to the lines that some ravioli presses make. This will help you know where to cut for adequately sized ravioli pieces.
With that being said, if you aren’t using a ravioli press or yours doesn’t offer lines on where you should cut, you should generally aim for the areas between the filling pockets, somewhere close to the middle of the empty space.
Doing this will produce evenly sized ravioli squares or rectangles, allowing you to continue preparing your dish even if you do not have a ravioli cutter to use. If you are cutting the ravioli based on your own estimates on what size they should be, attempt to cut the ravioli into the same size pieces so that they will all cook at the same rate.
You will want to make sure that you aren’t applying too much pressure to one end or another as this can alter the density and thickness of the dough, making it harder for all of your little ravioli pieces to cook evenly and thoroughly at the same time.
If you do not have a pizza cutter in particular but you do have a pastry cutter, you can do the same thing with that. Pastry cutters often function similarly to the stamp-like versions of ravioli cutters.
All you will have to do is press down on the cutter to make sure that it goes all the way through the dough; from there, you will have your ravioli pieces.
The one problem with using a pastry cutter instead of a ravioli cutter is that, depending on the type of pastry cutters you own, you may not get the standard rectangular ravioli pieces.
Instead, you will be left with circular ravioli pieces. This has no impact on taste, time for cooking, or anything other than appearance but it is something that you will want to note if you care about the way that your ravioli looks.
If you do not necessarily have a pastry cutter but you do have a cookie cutter, this can also get the job done as well. If you know for a fact that all you have is a cookie cutter, it might be worth weighing your options between using that and using a knife as many cookie cutters aren’t going to be nearly as large as most standard ravioli cutters.
This means that you may have to make some adjustments as to how much filling you put in since you will always want to have enough room outside the pocket to have some sealed edges.
Using the cookie cutter will work much the same as using a pastry cutter as all you will have to do is press down and you will cut through the dough.
The main thing that you will need to pay attention to is making sure that there is enough space around the outer edges of the ravioli pieces for you to be able to seal the pasta sheets together without any of the ravioli’s innards leaking through.
However, one aspect of using a cookie cutter that may be beneficial is that your ravioli, rather than being standard squares or rectangles, will instead be the shape of the cookie cutter.
For some people, this might mean a typical circular piece of ravioli, although the ravioli might be a fun and interesting shape instead for other people.
Using a cookie cutter to cut the ravioli can also make it a fun and enjoyable thing to do with children in your house as well since children may enjoy their ravioli more if it comes in something other than a standard rectangle.
And finally, another method that you could consider trying is cutting the ravioli with a knife. In some cases, the simplest method is the best one and if you don’t have a pizza cutter or a pastry cutter, you might as well use an all-purpose knife to get the job done.
Using a Knife to Cut the Ravioli
Using a knife to cut your ravioli is going to be a little bit more complicated than simply rolling a pizza cutter through the dough or pressing down with a pastry cutter. There are a few more aspects that you are going to need to be aware of and a few more factors to consider while you are getting the job done.
For the most part, you will simply want to slice the dough along where you want the edges of ravioli to be. You shouldn’t apply too much pressure to the ravioli pasta sheet or else you might smush it down too much, which can affect the density and the amount of time that it takes to cook the ravioli.
However, you should use just enough pressure that you can cut through the dough completely.
You will also want to be mindful of where you cut so that you can create evenly sized pieces of ravioli. If your ravioli press creates lines for you, then you won’t really have to worry about this as much as you otherwise would.
If you aren’t using a ravioli press or yours doesn’t leave indications of where you should cut, you should try and outline where you should cut if you want evenly sized pieces of ravioli.
When the pieces of ravioli are not evenly sized, then this opens the opportunity for the ravioli to cook too quickly for the smaller pieces or take longer to cook for others. This will leave you with some pieces of ravioli being slightly overcooked and some pieces of ravioli being undercooked, which is something that nobody wants to have happen.
When using a knife, you should also make sure that you pick up each ravioli piece and separate it from the rest of the ravioli, simply to make sure that it is not connected to the rest of the pasta sheets in any way.
While it won’t be much work to separate the ravioli if they cooked together, it is generally easier to take precautions to ensure that it isn’t, especially when you are using a tool that isn’t as efficient as a pizza cutter or pastry cutter.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.