This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Homemade ravioli recipe that’s perfect for spring and summer – tender, plump fresh ravioli are stuffed with fresh fava beans and ricotta cheese. You can also make these ravioli with prepared pasta sheets from the the grocery store.
Homemade fava bean and ricotta stuffed ravioli are a bit of a project, but so worth making!
This recipe will guide you if you’ve ever wanted to try making homemade ravioli from scratch, or are looking for creative fava bean recipes.
Cooking with fresh fava beans (broad beans)
Fava beans (also known as broad beans) are related to peas. Fresh green fava beans are one of those harbingers of spring I like to grab in the market while they’re in season.
I love all the spring vegetables — just check out all my asparagus recipes! — but fava beans seem special.
Favas are staples of the Mediterranean diet, and have been for thousands of years — literally centuries before the New World introduction of shelling beans like cannellini, borlotti and butter beans to Europe.
Usually the early point in spring-summer, favas are still pretty tiny and tender, but the ones I brought home to make ravioli were more manly in stature – big boys!
When the beans grow bigger than a thumbnail – 1/2 inch or so – they develop more starch. Which makes them a perfect filling for ravioli!
Shelling, Peeling and prepping fava beans
Favas require a little work to prep. They require a three-step process to prepare for cooking:
- Shuck to remove the beans from their thick-skinned velvety pods.
- Blanch the beans in boiling water
- Peel off the tougher outer coat surrounding the bean to reveal a bright green, tender bean hiding inside.
These steps seem less tedious if you let yourself enjoy the Zen-like peaceful place of soothing repetition. If you’re into that sort of thing 🙂
Making pasta dough for homemade ravioli
My ravioli dough recipe is slightly more egg-rich than a typical fresh pasta dough, which typically calls for one egg per cup of flour.
That’s because the extra egg yolks in ravioli dough help fortify the dough so that it will stand up best for stuffing.
If you can find fresh pasta sheets at your local store or Italian market, making a batch of these ravioli becomes a few steps simpler.
Just follow the steps for portioning and cutting in the recipe.
Ravioli sauce recipe
These ravioli are plump and fresh-tasting, and I find they are delicious with a simple sauce of butter and olive oil.
I sauced the fava bean ravioli with sauteed leeks, asparagus and a few fresh fava beans.
To make this less complicated to make, try topping the cooked ravioli with melted butter, cooked asparagus, or with quickly wilted greens and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Homemade Ravioli with Ricotta and Fava Beans
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 whole large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose or Italian-style “00” flour, plus additional as needed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ pounds fava beans in their pods
- ¼ cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese, plus additional
- 3 tablespoons drained whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, sliced into thin matchsticks
- ½ pound asparagus, sliced into ½-inch pieces
Make the ravioli dough:
- Pulse the egg yolks, whole eggs, 3 cups flour and salt in a food processor until the dough comes together in a ball. Add more flour if the dough seems very sticky. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly until the dough is smooth. Gather into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour at room temperature.
Make the ravioli filling:
- Bing a saucepan of water to a boil. Remove the beans from the pods, then drop them into the water to blanch for 2 minutes. Drain. When they’re cool enough to handle, make a small tear on the tough outer skins and peel them off. You should have about 3 cups peeled fava beans.
- Reserve ½ cup of the fava beans, and put the rest in a food processor along with the ricotta, grated cheese, parsley or basil and pepper. Puree to a thick, smooth consistency. Be sure to taste the mixture for salt as needed.
Form the ravioli:
- Divide the dough into 4 portions, keeping reserved dough covered while working so it doesn’t dry out. Flour the dough and roll into thin 3-inch wide sheets on a pasta machine (I stop at setting 6 on my hand-cranked Atlas). Trim the sheets into workable sections about 2 feet long and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Scoop the fava filling into small balls about 1-inch in diameter and arrange 1-inch apart in the center of each pasta sheet. Make an egg wash with an egg white and a drop of water, and brush over the dough all around the filling. Fold dough lengthwise over the filling, pressing gently between each ravioli and pinching to seal along the open edge.
- Cut the ravioli with a fluted cutter (or use a pizza cutter) Transfer the ravioli to a floured tray and refrigerate until ready to cook, about 4 hours ahead.
Serve the ravioli:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sweat the leeks with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the asparagus, cover and cook 2 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved fava beans.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the ravioli in about 6 at a time and cook until they float to the surface, usually less than 3 minutes. Remove ravioli using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and combine with the sauce. Serve right away with more grated cheese alongside.