artichoke ravioli with tomatoes

It’s not exactly news that I am obsessed with artichokes. Heck, I even decorated this site so that it would never clash my favorite food. (Honey, the living room is next.) So, the fact that it took me almost ten days from the moment I first saw an artichoke ravioli recipe in January’s Gourmet to make is really only testament to the fact that I’ve spent more time this month swatting Resolutes off my elliptical trainer and lazily ordering dumplings for dinner in the New Year than involving myself in multi-hour recipes.

making artichoke ravioli

But fear not, that all fixed itself last night as my husband had to work and I took that as an excuse not to. I found this second attempt at making pasta (Does gnocchi count? Because although that would make three, it was a mess best forgotten.) ten-thousand times easier, possibly because you whirled everything in the food processor and it was done in five seconds, no kneading whatsoever. The recipe suggests you let it sit for an hour to let the glutens relax, which I think is brilliant; it’s also a perfect chunk of time to get everything else ready.


This was my first time using frozen artichokes and on a scale of embodying the artichoke’s awesomeness, I’d put them squarely above the canned kind but of course below fresh. However, their lack of expense and labor involved should be duly noted. I parted from the recipe the first time when I saw that it wanted you to reserve a good lot of the artichoke mixture (well more than half) for the sauce and I thought the filling looking sparse, so I used the remainder to make more filling. I parted from the recipe a second time when it suggested that you use round cookie cutters to make the ravioli, and I realized that it would take far more precise measuring to get all the mounds so perfectly spaced than I was in the mood for, opting instead to use my new pastry wheel to make square-ish ones (they’re actually trapezoid-ish un-parallelograms, but I love them just the same). I parted with the recipe a third and final time when I was unable to use the remaining pasta dough a second time, it being too tough from flour to roll very thin. (Did I mention that lacking a pasta wheel, I rolled it out by hand? Really, not hard at all to get thin.)

I found it really, really difficult to get all of the air bubbles out of the ravioli, which made them all float half-in/half-out of the water when I tried to boil them, making them unwieldy to cook. I consulted the Italian cooking know-all where I get my lunch and he assured me that this happens even to experts, and the only way to avoid air bubbles is to use one of these do-hickeys I’d earlier and wrongly dismissed as one of those gimmicky things you’d buy if your kitchen was more than 80 square feet. He also said that the best way to get floating pasta to stay submerged is to cover it with a damp towel. Brilliant, eh? I will remember to consult him earlier next time.


Sharing Luisa’s outrage over January recipes which include fresh tomatoes, but stuck in some ridiculous need to follow a recipe to the letter — er, except those three letters above — the first time I make it, I obliged but those pale pink-centered things looked so pathetic in the pan, I added a squeeze of tomato paste and seasoning. It was surprisingly good in the end; along with the cream, it was the perfect weightless topping for these delightfully grown-up ravioli. The parsley, lemon juice and buttery onions in the filling snuggle nicely around the artichokes bittersweet flavor and cheese was a minority ingredient, an absolute essential for me to eat ravioli. (Yes, I know not liking cheese-filled things is crazy, but I’ve never feigned to be anything but.) Believe it or not, we had dinner at 8:30 last night, which is remarkably early for us, especially on a night when two hours and an 879-word recipe earlier, our pasta was but a wee pile of flour. I’m so enchanted by this process, I might even try it again this weekend for a certain television premiere. Artichoke and Parmesan-stuffed ravioli, just like the ancient Romans ate, right?


Artichoke Ravioli With Tomatoes
Adapted from Gourmet, January 2007

Makes 4 servings.

For pasta
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

For filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 (10-oz) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for egg wash)

For assembly
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 medium plum tomatoes, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Special equipment: a pasta machine; a 3-inch round metal cookie cutter; a shallow oval 2-qt ceramic or glass baking dish (12 by 8 1/2 inches)

To make pasta dough in a food processor: Blend flour, eggs, salt, and water in processor until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered with an inverted bowl, 1 hour to let the gluten relax and make rolling easier.

To make dough by hand: Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add eggs, salt, and water to well. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form a dough, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand 1 hour (to make rolling easier).

Make filling: Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Transfer all but 3/4 cup artichoke mixture to cleaned bowl of processor (reserve remaining artichoke mixture in skillet), then add cheese, parsley, yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped.

Roll pasta and make ravioli: Cut pasta dough into 4 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and cover rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting.

Lightly dust 1 rectangle with flour and feed through rollers. (Keep remaining rectangles under bowl.) Fold rectangle in half and feed it, folded end first, through rollers 7 or 8 more times, folding it in half each time and feeding folded end through. Dust with flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding. Continue to feed dough through rollers once at each setting, without folding, until you reach narrowest setting. Dough will be a smooth sheet (about 24 inches long and 4 inches wide).

Put sheet of dough on a floured work surface and drop 6 (1 1/2-teaspoon) mounds of filling 1 1/2 inches apart in a row down center of one half of sheet. Brush egg wash around each mound, then fold other half of sheet over filling. Press down firmly around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.) Cut pasta (between mounds) with cutter into 3-inch rounds. Line a large shallow baking pan with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and dust towel with flour, then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pasta dough, 1 sheet at a time, and remaining filling, transferring ravioli to lined pan.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter baking dish.

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli, carefully stirring to separate, and, adjusting heat to keep water at a gentle boil, cook until pasta is just tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander.

Assemble and bake dish: While ravioli boils, reheat reserved artichoke mixture in skillet with butter over moderately high heat, then add tomatoes and water and cook, stirring, until tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer half of ravioli to baking dish and top with half of artichoke mixture, half of cream, and half of cheese. Repeat with remaining ravioli, artichoke mixture, cream, and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake, uncovered, until ravioli is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

Do ahead: Dough can be made (but not rolled out) 4 hours ahead and chilled, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Ravioli can be made (but not cooked) 4 hours ahead and chilled in lined baking pan, covered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

61 comments on artichoke ravioli with tomatoes

  1. These look delish, mmmm artichokes, definitely something to try when the artichoke season starts around here… in the meantime, I´ll enjoy the tomatoes hahahahaha I know, that was evil, but I HAD to say it to show off my “summer condition” and compensate my anger at living at the end of the world and not being able to get any of the lovely cookbooks sold in the US lol

    You should definitely get that ravioli maker thingy, that´s how most people do them here and it doesn´t really take that much space. If you are planning to buy a pasta maker at some point, however, you won´t need to buy it because many of them come with a ravioli accessory.

    What happened to the gnocci? If the problem was that they ended up being too gumy, my Italian grandma makes the best potato gnocci ever and she always says you should add as little flour as possible, otherwise you´ll end up with gum-like gnocci. Oh, and you can make a bunch and then rinse them with cold water and freeze them.

  2. Oh I absolutely love the top photo! I shy away from ravioli due to my apparent inability to roll pasta of even thickness (and my stubborn inability to pull out the pasta machine to get it right). For some reason I’ll tackle normal pasta but not ravioli sheets most of the time. These look GOOD though – I love herby fillings… Parsley makes everything taste so bright and fresh, and any excuse to put artichokes in something is a good one!

  3. Count me in the artichoke fan club. Why US markets don’t facilitate artichoke use is beyond me- many other places sell freshly trimmed artichokes (ie just the tender base). I’m an advocate of the Roland canned artichoke bottoms- you can whip up artichoke soup or an artichoke sauce in minutes. Love the photo collage too.

  4. Those look great. Just beautiful. I once made ravioli filled with a purple potato puree but I didn’t seem to roll the pasta thin enough. They were a bit thick and chewy. Homemade pasta is one of those things that I’ve always meant to try making again but not until I have a larger kitchen. Also I’d like to say that I love the dish that the raviolis are on. The color is great and I love that thick edge. Where is it from, may I ask.

  5. Deb, these are really beautiful and the filling looks divine. Artichoke seems to be big right now & I’ll have to send this one onto my friend Sue who is a big lover of all things artichoke. We just made pasta last night, only my second time but I think I’m getting hooked. How does that gadget eliminate the air in the ravioli? I’ll have to look into that thingie.

  6. As Lisa said – first Julie’s lasagne, then your ravioli (which are stunning, by the way…as usual). So I’ve got to ask you, too: Can I put away my irrational fear of them tasting like frozen paper (based on absolutely nothing, by the way)?

  7. deb

    Marce – The gnocci, and look, I know this is largely my fault because I didn’t have a food mill, but I pushed the potato instead through a mesh strainer and clearly, it broke enough of those little water cells open that I had to add an impossible amount of flour to even get it vaguely into dough form. The guests were nice but they were tough and took forever to cook. But here is why I haven’t gone out and bought a food mill to try it again! Adam (Amateur Gourmet) also tried gnocchi ( you can even see my exasperated comment in there!), had a foodmill and still ended up having the same problem as me. And it made me scratch my head because it’s one of those things everyone tells you is such a cinch but it was so not.

    Jen, Meena – Thank you.

    Jenifer – Ha! I’ll see what I can do. I bet I’d love Memphis.

    Lisa – Ack, how did I miss that? It sounds delicious. And thank you for the décor encouragement but I confess I’m itching to go blue. Terrible clashing ahead, I can tell.

    Rachael – Thank you! While I probably didn’t roll it as thin as I should have, I found that the pasta could take to almost endless rolling, as in it would get thinner and thinner without breaking. But yes, a pasta roller would have been great.

    Mercedes – I used those canned a lot too (they’re much less expensive than the uppity brands, and taste fine), I just find that all canned ones have a slightly tinny taste. Oh, I still eat them, and often we sliver them up on top of pizza (drool), but yes. I do wish U.S. markets helped an artichoke-obsessed girl out once in a while.

    Grant – The orrecchiete I made was way too thick, so I understand. Took FOREVER to boil and still tasted tough. And, I forgot how much they’d puff up, so they were really like pebbles. The dishes — wedding registry! — are Calvin Klein Khaki collection, and we have them in sage. (I actually wanted white but they only have a cream-white and, meh.) They come in a ton of Calvin Klein-ish colors and I’m still tempted to get accent plates in “raisin”.

    Tanna – Supposedly, by making pockets for you that you completely fill, it’s easier to avoid air bubbles. Your lay the bottom sheet over the indentations, stretch and fill them, and put a flat top sheet on. Or so I assume — I haven’t played with it, yet.

    Kristen – Thank you.

    Luisa – Julie’s lasagna is stunning, gah, and she talks about artichokes as obsessively as I do! As for paper, do you mean the artichokes or the pasta? As for artichokes, nothing has better flavor than fresh but, well you know, they’re like $5 apiece at Garden of Eden sometimes, revolting, really. I thought that the pasta had a great flavor, but I’m one of those people who can instantly tell in a restaurant if they use fresh or not. I think it’s the egginess. God, I’m such a carb-fiend, right?

  8. Yay! Rome is back on! My sand-and-sword-movie loving husband got me hooked.

    And your ravioli looks wonderful.

    FanTAStic line: “The parsley, lemon juice and buttery onions in the filling snuggle nicely around the artichokes bittersweet flavor and cheese was a minority ingredient, an absolute essential for me to eat ravioli.”

    I can taste it.

  9. *waves hand*

    Another one here who loves artichokes!

    Even insanely time-consuming food projects like making your own pasta and then filling ravioli seem completely reasonable when artichoke is involved. Your “trapezoid-ish un-parallelogram” ravioli look beautiful, and the pictures are spectacular.

  10. Shelly

    De-lurking to say I love your blog! Great writing, recipes and photos – is there anything you can’t do? I am eagerly anticipating the Rome premiere as well. Keep up the great work!

  11. LyB

    Congratulations Deb! Best Food Blog- Humour Award Winner! I just love your site: witty, informative, always interesting and of course funny! I always look forward to your next post. Again, congrats!

  12. Kara

    Congratulations on your WellFed win! You absolutely deserve it. I’m still anxiously awaiting the coq au vin recipe. It just looks to die for! The cookies are wonderful as well. My husband ate more of them than I did! Surprise, surprise. Keep up the good work!

  13. I honestly haven’t eaten artichokes before, but after seeing these I certainly want to give them a try!

    Also, congratulations on your award. I love reading this blog!

  14. Congrats on your win – that’s awesome! My pasta-loving boyfriend absolutely refuses to make ravioli after creating a spectacular mess sometime before I met him. Me, I’m with you on never attempting gnocci again (I think it was months before my mother’s mixer was functioning properly…). But these do look awfully tempting…

  15. pat

    I love your site! Great Recipes and I will definitely have to try this one, I love anything with artichokes

    When I make ravioli’s I always poke each with a toothpick before letting them sit a bit before cooking. They will stay submerged and you will even have less of them explode from the trapped air.

    PS. I made ravioli’s for many years using a pastry wheel to cut them but broke down and bought the ravioli maker! I love it! It is very simple to use and makes a dozen very quickly.

  16. I love this recipe. I have made this twice, the first time as written (except I used canned artichokes because I couldn’t find frozen at any of the FOUR stores I checked), and the second time I used a homemade spinach dough and formed them into agnolotti. Both versions were incredible. This dish took me hours to make, especially the first time when I used my pasta roller for the first time, but it was so worth it. I think it is about time to make this one again!

  17. Martha

    My sister is in love with your site and insisted I have to try it out, so last night I made these (along with your “mom’s apple cake”) and both were absolutely amazing! I omitted the cream, and used canned san marzano tomatoes (winter in Boston = horrible tomatoes) and it was fantastic. Thanks so much for the incredible recipes, I’ll certainly be coming back for more!

  18. Wow. So simple, fresh and delicious looking! I will definitely be trying these out sometime this week. What would you recommend for a side and wine to pair with this?

  19. Dave

    As I usually don’t have the time to make the pasta. I think I’m going to try your filling as stuffed shells in whole wheat pasta. Thanks for the great info.

  20. epic

    having just finished the last of a big batch of ravioli i made a few months ago, i’m on the hunt for new ravioli fillings for the next batch, and this just made the list! if you ever find yourself in st. louis, there’s a great pizza place here that makes a toasted ravioli (i’m newly arrived from the east coast, but apparently that’s a big thing here), anyway – they are filled with a fantastic artichoke filling and served with pesto. so good!

  21. Hersh

    I tried this out this evening.. and it was DELICIOUS! THANK YOU!! I used wonton wrappers instead of making the pasta. I love the pictures and your blurbs about what worked and what didn’t.. extremely helpful!!

  22. Looks delicious. Artichokes just make my mouth water. Thanks for passing on the tips to get the air bubbles out of the ravioli. That is always a major deterrent for me when I try to make my own pasta creations.

  23. Mindy

    I just found your site today and I am already in love with it!!! Artichokes are one of my favorite foods so I can’t wait to try this. I am not a fan of the frozen ones so I will stick with the canned for this. Did you notice a difference in taste if you have tried this with canned vs. frozen? Of course the fresh are the best but I love those with butter and garlic. I look forward to exploring your blog and making lots of yummy food!!!

  24. Aparna

    For those of you struggling with pasta dough: try wonton wrappers!! they work really well, and you can make 4 ravioli out of two wrappers. Lay one wrapper down, and lay four spoons of the filling in four parts evenly spaced on the wrapper. Paint egg wash all around the edges and in the middle making a cross. Lay another wonton wrapper on top to seal the edges and middle. Finally: using a knife or pasta cutter to cut out the four squares! and then just boil in water until they’re kind of clear. I got this tip from Giada of the food network. This looks like a great recipe and I will try it for SURE.

  25. Hey Deb, Weird! Artichokes are my favorite food. Period. Also, I refuse to even try any food that is overly cheesy. I swear, if I wasn’t so much older than you, I’d believe we were separated at birth. Anyway, I will be making this recipe very soon. I have a fabulous cream of artichoke soup recipe. Have you tried that. Yummy! Michele

  26. Vicki B

    As a fellow artichoke lover, I have to tell you that my new source for the best “chokes” is that I buy them from a local restaurant. This place uses only very fresh ingredients and these artichokes are imported from Italy in what must be 10lb cans (I know that’s not “fresh” but they’re ridiculously awesome). I open the can, re-jar them, and refrigerate until they’re all used up. They work in everything and I can’t wait to use them in this recipe! Sounds divine!

  27. Rehtak

    Why do you bake them in the oven after boiling? Sorry– newish to cooking.

    And for a tomato-less cream sauce, would you have any quick recommendations?

    Thank you so much, your recipes are inspiring!

  28. SG

    Deb, I have an impossible question, but I’m going to ask anyway. Last summer, I made one of your tomato sauces and then froze it, and I can’t for the life of me remember which one. I just made the onion and butter one, and it wasn’t that one. I remember it being very simple and bright (I’m not sure if that’s a helpful adjective, but I thought the tomatoes really shone in it). I served it over this artichoke ravioli (rather than baking it). Any thoughts on which one it might fit this description? Thanks so much.

  29. SG

    Thanks Deb. I’ll try that one. The instructions aren’t ringing any bells, but maybe I’ve just forgotten. I may just have to cook my way through all your tomato sauces until I find it. (I can’t tell you how much I loved opening those sauces during the winter.)

  30. Rachel

    In the UK it is just about impossible to get frozen artichoke hearts, and even canned ones are rare. I have, however, a large jar of hearts in oil (with some herbs). Would it be possible to use them for this filling? If so, what draining/patting steps should I take?

    1. deb

      Maybe drain, rinse, pat them out. Mostly, you don’t want the filling too oily and you definitely won’t need to add oil at any point.

  31. JessF

    I was browsing food sites on the internet, and my bf, who is a starch fiend, was looking over my shoulder at some fancy agnolotti without a recipe and asked why I wasn’t making those. I have never been interested in making fresh pasta (so much work for what improvement, exactly?), and I figured any recipe from Smitten would start out from that perspective, ie “I live three blocks from Little Italy, but I decided to try making fresh pasta on a whim, and if you’re going to do it, this is the way…”

    I really appreciated this recipe and the instructions on how to do it if you find yourself without any of the proper equipment. :) Though I didn’t even have a pasta roller, it was just me and my rolling pin and my pizza cutter, and this was a fine recipe to use. I think the full hour of rest made it that much easier to roll out the dough by hand. Great filling.

    I forgot how the pasta expands in the water, though, so you really can place your filling even closer to the edge than you think, to minimize the pasta without filling. (Though I said as much to my bf, and he was totally uninterested in minimizing the pasta to filling ratio. Crazy man.)

  32. Sarah

    I wanted to try making ravioli for the first time, and WOW, did this recipe knock it out of the park! I love artichokes, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out (I could only find canned artichokes, and adapted for gluten-free, using a separate dough recipe, but followed your process for the filling, sauce, and cooking). What an absolute winner – I can’t wait to make this again!