From: Papa Joe’s Recipe Book

Makes roughly 10 dozen ravioli (approximately 20 servings)


●  2 large stock pots (recommend at least 8 quart for beef broth and 6 quart for sauce)

●  Kitchen mixer with grinder attachment

●  Pasta maker (manual or mixer attachment should work fine)

●  2 9”x13” baking dishes

●  Various large mixing bowls


To make this recipe properly, you really need to start about 2 days ahead of when you want to eat. We also usually make this a family affair and get at least 2-3 other family members to help, which helps things run much more smoothly and quickly – especially with preparing the actual ravioli. Putting the filling into the dough and then pinching it shut has always been a favorite activity for the grandkids to help.

One of the great things about this recipe is that all the components freeze well for use at a later date – so if you only want to serve half of it you can save the rest for later.



●  1 large, fatty roast (3-4 lb), such as chuck roast Leave fat on the roast prior to cooking

●  3 bunches of fresh spinach ​OR
2 10oz bags/boxes of frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

●  Lots of garlic powder (at least 2 tablespoons)

●  2eggs

●  2 bay leaves

●  2 sleeves saltine crackers

●  Salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Pasta Dough

We always make our own pasta dough using the Better Homes & Gardens Noodle Dough recipe. We make them in the following batch sizes, but ​it usually takes 2-3 batches for 1 recipe of ravioli filling.

●  2 cups all-purpose flour

●  1⁄2 teaspoon salt

●  2 egg yolks, beaten

●  1 egg, beaten

●  1⁄3 cup water

●  1 teaspoon cooking oil or olive oil


●  4-5 quarts crushed OR diced tomatoes (home canned are always the best!)

●  3 bay leaves

●  2 bunches fresh parsley

●  8 cloves fresh garlic

●  1⁄2 cup crushed fat from boiled roast (included in instructions)

●  1 cup of broth (from boiled beef in instructions)

●  2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


Prepare the ravioli filling

  1. Heat empty soup pot and brown the roast on all sides (frying pan will also work, but adds more dishes).
  2. Place the roast and bay leaves in the soup pot and fill with enough water to completely submerge the roast. Bring pot to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  3. Boil beef roast 3-4 hours until thoroughly cooked.
  4. From the boiled roast, carve off fat and mash it with a fork for the sauce. Let the roastcool before continuing with the filling. Save all beef broth (you’ll use this for cooking theravioli).
  5. Grind beef, parsley and spinach together into a roughly uniform mixture.
  6. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and eggs.
  7. Thoroughly mix.

Crush crackers and mix into filling mixture until relatively dry. Recommend starting with at least 1 sleeve of crackers and then adding more in small increments until proper dryness/texture is achieved. When ready, the mixture should be dry enough to almost form a ball, but still crumble relatively easily.

Prepare the ravioli sauce

  1. Mince fresh garlic.
  2. Mix all sauce ingredients in large sauce pot. Simmer for 8 hours (or until nice and thick),stirring occasionally.

Once the filling and sauce are prepared, you can put them and the remaining broth in the refrigerator overnight.

Prepare the dough – 1 batch at a time

  1. In a large bowl stir together 1-3/4 cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. In a small bowl stir together egg yolks, whole egg, water, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; mix well.
  2. Sprinkle a kneading surface with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into four equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a 12×9-inch rectangle (about 1/16 inch thick). (If using a pasta machine, pass each portion of dough through machine according to manufacturers directions until dough is 1/16 inch thick – we usually go to #6 on our pasta roller.) Let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Lightly dust dough with flour.

Make the ravioli
This is the part that really makes a fun family activity! The more hands the merrier, but at least 2-3 family or friends are ideal – and this is the part that’s a great job for kids.

  1. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into 21⁄2 inch squares.
  2. For each square, place roughly 11⁄2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the square. Fold the square over onto itself so you have a stuffed triangle. Press a fork down ontothe edge to crimp the dough closed all the way around. Set aside on a large towel to dry- we usually recommend a clean towel.
  3. Repeat until all (or at least the desired amount) of the dough and filling has been used.The filling can always be frozen for use in the future, but the dough usually has to be used once it’s prepared.The prepared ravioli can also be frozen, as long as you’re careful not to break them.
  4. Once the desired amount of ravioli has been made, you can either cook it immediately or let it air dry overnight (which is the way we always do it). If drying overnight, let air dry on the towel at room temperature, turning over the ravioli once or twice.

Cook the Ravioli

1. Re-heat sauce until warm.

  1. Bring the saved beef broth to a boil. Add the dried ravioli and boil for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want to overload the pot, so we usually just cook about 18 at a time.
  2. When the ravioli is fully cooked, use a slotted spoon to move it from the pot to a 9”x13” baking dish, forming a single layer of ravioli across the bottom of the dish.
  3. Once the pan has a complete single layer of ravioli, cover with just enough sauce to thinly cover the ravioli.
  4. If desired, sprinkle the top of the pan with shredded cheddar cheese and bake at a low heat until the cheese is melted.
  5. Repeat with additional baking dishes until all the revioli has been used.


Leave a comment