Casarecce pasta, also known as ricotta ravioli or cheese-filled raviolis, is one of the most delicious ways to use up leftover pastas.
It’s no surprise why this versatile dish has become so popular over the years.
Casarecce pasta takes classic dishes like lasagna and turns them into a completely different creation that’ll have your family begging for more!
What Is Casarecce Pasta?
Casarecce pasta is simply any type of pasta shaped with cheese filling.
You will find these types of fillings used all throughout Italy.
They are usually made by taking a square piece of pasta dough (or dough sheets) and folding it over itself several times until you get a long rectangle shape.
Then, you cut off pieces of the rectangle and roll out each piece before gently placing some cheese between two rectangles.
The resulting shapes look like little pockets filled with cheese.
You then cook the pasta through until done and serve hot with sauce.
There are many different variations of casarecce pasta but they all share similar ingredients and flavor profiles.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 5 cups flour
How to Make Casarecce Pasta
Begin by making your roux.
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a medium pot and melt it slowly over low heat while stirring constantly.
Once melted, add about 1 tablespoon flour at a time and stir constantly until smooth.
Continue adding flours until the mixture has thickened.
Remove from heat.
In another bowl mix together the milk, eggs, salt, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
Add this mixture gradually to the roux while whisking continuously.
When everything comes together smoothly, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
Place a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take half of the cheese and place it in the food processor and pulse it until finely chopped.
Take a small amount of flour and create a well in the center of the kitchen sink.
Put the remaining flour in there and start kneading it using both hands until it becomes a ball.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut it into squares.
Next, take one corner of the square and fold it towards the middle.
Repeat this process four more times to form a triangle.
After rolling out the triangles again, cut them along their length to create eight equal strips.
Now, put a heaping tablespoon of cheese in the middle of each strip and bring the sides of the strip together to enclose the cheese.
Press down firmly to seal the edges.
Next, lay the sealed strip flat on a cutting board and repeat the same steps with the other seven strips.
Lay all 16 strips side by side and roll them out until they reach approximately 3 inches wide.
Cut the rolled out strips into 4 inch lengths.
Now, transfer the strips to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the pan halfway through cooking.
Allow them to cool completely before assembling them with sauce.
If you want to avoid the hassle of assembly, you may prepare the raviolis ahead of time and store them in the fridge until ready to eat.
Where Does Casarecce Pasta Come From?
As with many traditional Italian recipes, there are two main sources for casarecce pasta—one being the local region where it was originally created, while another source comes from Italy itself.
The former usually has a much softer texture than its counterpart, but either way you choose to prepare your casarecce pasta, it’s sure to impress your guests.
Originally, casarecce pasta was developed by nuns in their convent kitchen.
They would take the leftover pasta dough and fill it with fresh ricotta before baking it to create these little pasta pockets filled with creamy goodness.
However, if you prefer to go with something less labor intensive, we suggest preparing casarecce pasta using store bought frozen dumplings instead.
These will save you time since they already have all the ingredients you need to start making your own at home.
Ingredients needed for homemade caserecces
- 1 lb (500g) Ricotta Cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Egg Yolk
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- ¾ tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Steps for making homemade casarecce pasta
- In bowl mix together all dry ingredients except flour, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper until well combined.
- Add eggs and combine thoroughly.
- Mix in cold water until mixture becomes slightly sticky.
- On floured surface roll out 1/8th inch thick sheets of dough.
- Cut out circles using small drinking glass.
- Fold each circle in half, then press edges together gently to seal shut.
- Fill each pocket 3/4 full with ricotta filling.
- Brush top of each with beaten egg white.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
How Is Casarecce Pasta Made?
To create this delicious dish, you’re going to need two different types of pasta: fresh noodles (or any other kind of pasta) and dried pasta sheets.
You’ll then combine both together with some cheese and herbs.
The best part about making casarecce pasta at home is that you don’t even need much equipment.
All you really need is a bowl, rolling pin, cutting board, knife, and oven.
If you want to get fancy, though, you could always invest in a stand mixer and food processor.
You may find yourself wanting to do more than just mix it all together.
That’s okay too – there are plenty of variations for how you can prepare your casarecce pasta.
For example, you might add a little cream, garlic, or lemon juice to give it a tangy flavor.
Or maybe you’d prefer yours without sauce at all!
If you’ve never worked with casarecce pasta before, it might seem intimidating at first.
But once you take the time to learn what each step means, you’ll understand exactly how to go about preparing it.
Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to casarecce pasta recipes.
- Step 1: Make your filling by combining the eggs, cheese, and salt.
- Step 2: Roll out your dough using a rolling pin until it becomes thin enough to cut.
- Step 3: Cut the pasta sheets into squares or rectangles.
- Step 4: Fill each square or rectangle with your desired fillings.
- Step 5: Cook the filled pasta squares or rectangles in boiling water until they float, usually between 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Remove them from the heat and serve immediately.
What Are The Ingredients In A Casarecce Pasta Recipe?
One of the best things about casarecce pasta recipes is how many options there are when it comes to adding different flavors to the filling.
That means that everyone gets to enjoy something they love while still having their own unique flavor profile.
Here are some examples of what you might find inside a homemade casarecce pasta:
- Creamy ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese with herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)
- Lemon zest
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Salsa verde
- Herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, chives, etc.
- Cooked spinach
- Bacon bits
- Shredded chicken
- Roasted garlic cloves
- Crushed tomatoes
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Fresh tomato sauce
- Spicy sausage meat
- Ground beef
- Italian seasoning mix
- Olive oil
- Olive oil
- Dry white wine
- Chicken broth
- Cheesecloth/muslin cloth
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to making casarecce pasta.
You don’t even need to limit yourself to just these basic ingredients! Try adding ground turkey instead of bacon bits if you want to keep things vegetarian, or add shredded pork for extra flavor! Don’t feel limited by any specific ingredient either – try using fresh pesto instead of salsa verde, or substitute mozzarella cheese for another variety of cheese!
How Do You Cook Casarecce Pasta?
If you want to create your own version of this wonderful pasta, there are several steps you need to take before putting it together.
First off, you will need to prepare the filling.
Once you have made your filling, you will need to roll out the dough.
You should then cut the rolled out pasta sheets into squares and add the filling.
Once all three parts of the process are complete, you can bake the entire thing at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the pasta is cooked through.
The best part about cooking casarecce pasta is how simple it is to put together.
There’s nothing complicated about it.
All you need to know is what kind of food you plan to stuff inside each square of pasta.
The following list includes a few of the most common types of casarecce pasta recipes available online, but don’t stop here.
If you see something similar to yours listed below, try making it yourself and post pictures of your finished product if possible.
Your fellow readers may find it helpful if they decide to give it a go themselves!
- Spaghetti with Ricotta Cheese – This simple spaghetti dish uses fresh ricotta cheese instead of traditional béchamel sauce.
- Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta – This tasty dish features handmade ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta cheese.
- Cheese Ravioli Pasta Bake – A cheesy twist on traditional meatless lasagna, this savory pasta casserole offers plenty of flavor while being low carb and gluten free.
- Baked Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells – These shells are loaded with creamy spinach and mozzarella cheeses that melt in your mouth when baked.
- Fusilli with Ricotta Bolognese – Filled with tender fusili noodles and a rich tomato sauce, these little bites pack tons of flavor.
- Lemon Risotto with Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts – Lemon risotto doesn’t get any better than this! Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s packed full of healthy fats from olive oil and pine nuts.
- Pesto Lasagne – Pesto is always a crowd favorite, and this homemade pesto lasagne packs a punch thanks to its zesty flavors.
- Lasagna Rolls – Instead of using traditional lasagna noodles, these rolls feature thin rice noodle sheets that are layered with flavorful sauces.
What Are Some Popular Casarecce Pasta Recipes?
This simple yet delicious dish was originally created by Italian immigrants who needed something fast and filling to eat while they worked long hours in the fields.
Nowadays, it’s enjoyed all around Italy (and other parts of Europe) with many variations.
Here are three common casarecce pasta recipes:
- Spaghetti Bolognese: A traditional favorite made even better when served over fresh spaghetti squash noodles.
- Lasagne al Forno: A hearty casserole full of meat and vegetables topped with melted mozzarella cheese. You’ll definitely want to serve this to guests at any event!
- Ravioli di Ricotta e Pomodoro con Crema di Parmigiano Reggiano: This creamy risotto uses homemade tomato sauce and fresh basil pesto as a base for its savory flavor.
1. Spaghetti Bolognese
The best thing about this recipe? It requires only 8 ingredients.
Plus, if you don’t already own a slow cooker, this will work just fine without one.
- 4 cups lean ground beef
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 6 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, onion, garlic, egg yolk, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until well mixed.
- On a large piece of parchment paper, lay out six 4×15 inch sheets of aluminum foil. Divide mixture evenly between each sheet.
- Bring edges of paper together and seal tightly using kitchen twine.
- Place 6 packets on top of a slow cooker insert.
- Cook on high heat for 3 hours.
- Add ½ cup water and simmer for 30 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly before opening packages.
- Serve warm over cooked pasta.
2. Lasagne al Forno
Although there are several steps involved in this recipe, it’s not difficult to prepare.
The key here is to follow instructions carefully and keep everything organized.
Once you get started, it won’t take too much time to complete.
- 2 pounds thick pasta sheets
- 10 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 7 ounces parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/177 C.
- Combine cheeses, eggs, cream cheese, and spinach in a food processor.
- Spread 1 layer of pasta sheets on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Cover another baking tray with parchment paper.
- Pour cheese mix onto first tray.
- Top cheese mixture with remaining pasta sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn off oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, cut and serve immediately.
3. Ravioli di Ricotta e Pomodori Arrostiti
If you love tomatoes but aren’t fond of the texture of canned tomatoes, then this may be the right choice for you.
You know how some people prefer their pasta cooked al dente?
Well, this recipe calls for uncooked pasta.
So, you must be wondering what kind of pasta would be used for this recipe.
There are two types of pasta that are commonly used in casarecce recipes: tagliolini and fusilli.
Tagliolini works perfectly because it cooks quickly.
If you decide to go with tagliolini, simply choose thin strands of pasta instead of wide ones.
- 16 ounce package tagliolini
- 2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes
- 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup grated parmigianano cheese
- ¼ cup chopped basil leaves
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Soak tagliolinis in hot salted water for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil.
- Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices.
- Drain tagliolini and add to boiling water.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain and toss with tomatoes.
- Mix ricotta, parmigianino, basil, and seasonings.
- Fill tagliolini with ricotta mixture and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Broil for 5 minutes per side or until cheese starts to bubble.
- Let stand for 5 minutes and enjoy warm.
What Are Some Tips For Making A Great Casarecce Pasta Dish?
If you want to impress everyone at dinner time with a mouthwatering dish, then try out these simple yet effective tips below.
- Use fresh ingredients. The fresher the better. Fresh herbs and vegetables will give it depth of flavor.
- Make sure each ravioli is stuffed properly. If your filling doesn’t reach all the way through the middle, there won’t be enough sauce to cover everything.
- Do not overcook your pasta – they should still have bite. When cooked right, they will hold their shape well after being removed from the heat. For best results, cook until al dente (not soft).
- For best presentation, serve immediately once ready.
How Do You Know When Casarecce Pasta Is Done Cooking?
While there isn’t a set time limit on how long it should take to cook casarecce pasta, there are a few factors that will determine if the pasta is cooked enough.
The first is taste.
If you’ve ever made risotto, then you know that rice won’t turn out right unless it cooks at least 60 minutes.
You want the same thing with pasta—you need the pasta to get soft but still hold its shape after being boiled for about 5 minutes.
When you add ingredients to the boiling water, you don’t want them to fall apart before they reach the pasta.
In order to achieve this, you need to ensure that the pasta is cooked through.
The second factor that determines whether or not the pasta is ready to eat is texture.
If you look closely at the picture above, you’ll notice that there are little bits of uncooked pasta visible throughout each bite.
These bits are a sign that the pasta was overcooked.
To avoid this, you want to ensure that the pasta stays firm while getting tender.
As mentioned earlier, this means that the pasta needs to be fully cooked through.
Finally, the last factor that helps determine whether or not the pasta is done is color.
Pasta tends to get darker as it gets closer to fully cooked.
While you may prefer your pasta al dente, if you see that the edges of the pasta are turning brown too quickly, stop cooking immediately.
This indicates that the pasta has been overcooked.
Tips for Making a Great Casarecce Pasta Dish
- Add small amounts of liquid to the pot (like stock) to help keep the pasta from drying out during cooking.
- If you’re using frozen pasta, allow it to thaw for 30 minutes prior to adding it to the boiling water.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Too many noodles mean less room for evaporation which leads to dry pasta.
- When adding ingredients to the boiling water, stir frequently to prevent clumps forming.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Cooking Casarecce Pasta?
We all love homemade food, but sometimes it’s hard to get everything right.
If it’s not prepared correctly, you could end up with something lacking flavor or texture.
That’s where these five common mistakes come into play.
- Not using enough water when boiling pasta
- Overcooking the pasta before adding the filling
- Failing to drain excess liquid from the cooked pasta after removing it from the heat
- Adding too much oil to the pan while sautéing the filling ingredients
- Using premade fillings instead of making your own
If you want to learn how to cook this tasty treat at home, here’s what you need to know.
What Are Some
Some common mistakes people make with casarecce pasta include not measuring out enough flour, not adding enough water, using too much baking powder, and not adding any eggs.
These are all simple things you should avoid if you want to get the best results from your homemade pasta.
- Not measuring out enough flour – This mistake will result in dry, hard dough that won’t roll out properly. If your dough starts to stick together while rolling it out, add more flour until it becomes easier to work with again.
- Not adding enough water – Too little water means there isn’t enough moisture in the dough, which makes it difficult to roll out. You’ll end up getting tiny balls instead of long noodles when you roll them out.
- Using too much baking powder – Baking powder helps give your dough extra lift during rolling and cutting, but too much can cause your dough to collapse after you’ve rolled it out. Add less than 1/4 teaspoon at a time to start and keep track of how many teaspoons you need.
- Forget about eggs – Eggs help bind ingredients together and create a stronger structure in your dough. When you first mix everything together, your dough may look loose and crumbly, but don’t worry because you’re going to knead it before rolling it out. Adding eggs later will only toughen up your dough and prevent it from being able to stretch easily.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage spicy
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb Casarecce pasta
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano-regggiano cheese
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil should be heated over medium-low heat in a big pot or dutch oven. After that, add the onions and sauté them until they are translucent. When the garlic is fragrant, add the garlic and stir the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the ground sausage to the saucepan, crumble it with a wooden spoon, and heat it all until it is browned. Add the broth after that and stir. Then add uncooked spaghetti and toss the mixture once more.
- For about 15 minutes, or until all the pasta is cooked through, cover the pot with the lid. Once the pasta is done cooking, taste it and, if desired, season with salt and/or pepper.
- Last but not least, incorporate tomatoes and fresh basil into the mixture. Add grated cheese and serve in bowls. If desired, top with additional cheese. Enjoy!