A ravioli rolling pin is a type of rolling pin which is specially designed for making ravioli. Essentially, the rolling pin works like a stamp, compressing the edges of the ravioli and then cutting them apart. This kitchen tool can be very useful for people who like to make ravioli at home, although there are other techniques which can be used to mold and cut ravioli, including ravioli molds and a ravioli cutting attachment for pasta machines.
Ravioli are filled pasta cut into square pouches. When cooks use a ravioli rolling pin, they roll out pasta dough, spoon out measures of filling, and then lay another sheet of pasta dough on top. The rolling pin is moved slowly and firmly across the layers of dough and filling, and as it moves across the dough, it pinches the dough into neat pouches and gently scores it so that the ravioli can be pulled apart with ease.
Some people find it easier to use a ravioli rolling pin than other tools for making ravioli. Ravioli attachments for pasta makers, for example, can get extremely messy, and if the calibration is slightly off, they will simply mangle dough and filling together. Ravioli molds can also be tricky to use, again because the two halves of the mold must be perfectly matched for the ravioli to come out properly.
In addition to being used for ravioli, a ravioli rolling pin can also be used for other filled foods and dumplings, such as pierogi, miniature turnovers, and filled sweets. Most ravioli rolling pins are made from carved wood, although some have metal inserts; wooden rolling pins tend to be generally better.
When using a ravioli rolling pin, it is important to lightly flour the work surface and the rolling pin, to prevent the dough from snagging or sticking. Ideally, the rolling pin should never be allowed to get wet, because it could crack, or rust, in the case of a rolling pin with metal components. Instead, the ravioli rolling pin should be cleaned with a pastry brush or wiped down with a cloth. If pastry becomes stuck, a damp cloth can be used to wipe the rolling pin. It is also a good idea to hang a ravioli rolling pin so that it does not become deformed by lying in a drawer or being struck with other kitchen utensils.