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Ravioletti pasta is a miniature version of ravioli, a type of filled pasta. Like its larger cousin, ravioletti pasta is made by preparing pasta dough and a filling, spooning the filling onto the dough, and then using a specially designed mold or cutting tool to compress the dough into filling-stuffed pouches and separate the pouches into individual units. A wide range of fillings and doughs can be used to make ravioletti, ranging from ordinary dough with cheese filling to squid-ink pasta with a seafood stuffing, and this pasta can be served in a range of ways.
Filled pasta has been made in Italy since at least the 13th century, when it was mentioned in a manuscript. It comes in a range of shapes, sizes, and fillings, and it can be served plain or with a sauce. Some filled pastas can also be used in soups and stews to provide extra texture. Some cooks like working with ravioletti pasta specifically because of the smaller size, which can make it a fun inclusion in a meal.
Depending on the mold used, ravioletti may be square or round. Fresh ravioletti is sometimes available in Italian markets and gourmet stores, and it can also be made at home with the assistance of a ravioletti mold. Some companies also freeze their ravioletti pasta to extend shelf life, and dried ravioletti is available as well, although the choices of filling tend to be more limited.
Meats like chicken, beef, veal, and pork can be used in ravioletti, along with seafood and an assortment of cheeses, or vegetable ingredients like spinach, mushrooms, and squash. Because these pasta are so small, some cooks use them in soups; they are bite-size, so guests don't have to wrestle with larger ravioli or other filled pasta. Ravioletti pasta can be served hot or cold with a wide range of sauces and seasonings.
Cooks who want to make ravioletti at home will find a pasta machine for rolling out the dough extremely useful, and they may also want to make use of a ravioletti mold or a ravioli cutter. Numerous filling recipes for pasta can be found on the Internet; for ravioletti, ingredients should be chopped especially fine to ensure that the pasta does not end up with lumps. Cooks should also remember to use only small amounts of filling, because the pasta is so much smaller than traditional ravioli.