Expert Advice For Making Ravioli Taste Like Restaurant Quality

Enjoying a plate of ravioli at your favorite Italian trattoria is a delight. You may not realize, though, that whipping up restaurant-quality ravioli at home is easier than you think. We asked one expert for tips on how to do exactly that whether you're whipping up a quick weeknight dinner or planning a sophisticated dinner party.

According to Joe Isidori of classic old-school New York City Italian joint Arthur & Sons, it comes down to two things: choosing high-quality pre-made ravioli and saucing it the right way. You may already have a preferred brand but one thing to keep in mind is that many of the best frozen ravioli brands come with the sauce already mixed in.

Avoid the pre-packaged sauce and take Isidori's advice to make a simple homemade sauce of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, salt, pepper, and fresh basil. He tells Mashed that you should let this simmer for 15-20 minutes to break down the tomatoes and combine the flavors before sprinkling it with pecorino romano cheese. It may be simple, but it's enough to make the ravioli shine, showcasing each simple ingredient in the recipe.

Making your own ravioli? Try this tip

Isidori also has some advice for more ambitious home cooks who want to make their own ravioli. He says you should skip the hassle and stress of making your own pasta dough and buy pre-made sheets from a local specialty store or upscale supermarket. That allows you to focus on the sauce as well as the other crucial factor for any ravioli; the filling.

When it comes to selecting the cheese, it's best to indulge. Isidori suggests buying whole-milk ricotta, often used in restaurant kitchens for its creaminess. As for the rest of the filling, don't go crazy. While many spots produce increasingly unusual ravioli, keeping your recipe simple helps ensure the quality can match any local Italian joint. Stick to traditional choices like cheese or meat.

However, this is just the start for budding Italian master chefs. Master these Italian restaurant secrets you can use at home and you'll be cooking like you're back in the Old Country before you know it.