How to make ravioli di melanzane (eggplant ravioli)

STEPS 7 INGREDIENTS 9 (exc. fresh pasta) TIME 90 MINS - 2 HRS

Here we learn how to make ravioli di melanzane (ravioli filled with sautéed eggplant) in order to benefit from one of Italian cooking’s most dribble-inducing ingredient combos… tomatoes and eggplant (or aubergine to us Europeans).

how to make ravioli di melanzane

As anyone who’s ever eaten eggplant parmigiana (sometimes called eggplant parmesan) knows, there’s just something about the soft-fried sweetness of molten eggplant twinned with fresh rich tomato sauce…

... I could eat it all day long. Add this cool combo to the creative process of how to make ravioli, and you’ve a real recipe winner.

You won’t even need a ravioli cutter, as we’ll make easy half-moon ‘pansotti’ parcels here. What you will need however is enough time.

Like most ravioli recipes, this isn’t one to try and cram into a busy weeknight evening; instead it’s more of a weekend treat. If you like cooking, you’ll know the score… it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, you’ve a nice cup of tea or glass of wine, and the radio’s tuned to your favorite easy channel… now that’s ravioli making time!

(Of course, you can always overlap cooking steps to speed things up if you’re happy multitasking.)

Fresh pasta note: this recipe doesn’t cover the steps involved in making the green spinach pasta dough you’ll need to make ravioli. Step 4 below refers instead to this dough guide (so if printing this recipe, print both pages!).

Serves: 4


- Around 40 leaves of fresh basil

how to make ravioli di melanzane- 400g/14oz small fresh cherry tomatoes

- 1 red onion

- 4 small eggplants/aubergines

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Frying/sunflower oil

- 2 garlic cloves

- 40g/1.5oz (large knob) of butter

- 50g/1.75oz Parmesan cheese

For fresh pasta

- 500g/17oz plain/general-purpose flour (ideally super-fine type ‘00’)

- 300g/10oz fresh/frozen spinach

- 2 eggs

- Salt


- Frying pan with lid (ideally 2)

- Cheese grater

- Food processor/blender

- Absorbent kitchen paper

STEP 1 - First our preparation. if using fresh spinach leaves, clean these by rinsing and removing their stalks. Then…

- Peel, de-end and finely chop the onion.

- Halve the cherry toms.

- De-end and peel the garlic.

- With the eggplants… chop off ends, cut long ways in 4, slice away any central seeds, then chop the rest into tiny cubes (as small as you can).

Tip: pop eggplant cubes in a bowl of cold salted water to stop them browning in the air.

how to make ravioli di melanzaneSTEP 2 - This step is about cooking the eggplant.

- Cover the base of a frying pan with frying/sunflower oil, warm on medium heat, and fry garlic cloves until golden (2-3 mins).

- Then add eggplant cubes (squeezing away excess water as you do), add lid, and fry until eggplant is very soft (approx. 15-20 mins).

- Transfer eggplant onto a plate of absorbent kitchen paper for a minute to remove a little excess oil.

- Now pop eggplant on chopping board, grate over 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and add half torn basil leaves.

- Mix up mixture and chop even more finely - that’s your ravioli filling!

STEP 3 - Now the spinach.

- Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, then add spinach.

- Pop on the lid and fry on medium heat until spinach reduces down to almost nothing (approx. 10-12 mins).

- Remove spinach and whiz until smooth using a blender/food processor.

making ravioli di melanzaneSTEP 4 - Now use this spinach to make fresh green pasta for 4 people.

- See the full homemade pasta guide here – allow 10-15 mins for this.

- Then this pasta dough as flat as possible using a rolling pin.

- Cut the flat dough into circles using a small glass or coffee cup.

Tip: don’t waste leftovers: squeeze any dough bits into a ball, add a drop of water to moisten if required, then lightly flour and roll this flat to make more ravioli. As for leftover processed spinach, freeze this for next time.

making ravioli di melanzaneSTEP 5 - Now the crux of this how to make ravioli guide, filling the parcels!

- Pop a flat teaspoon of eggplant ravioli filling in the middle of each dough circle.

- Fold over each circle to form a half-moon shape (i.e. pansotti) and use a fork to press down the edges and seal the parcel.

STEP 6 - Making the sauce is easy with fresh cherry toms:

making ravioli di melanzane- Half cover the base of a frying pan with olive oil and heat through on a medium hob.

- Throw in the onion and remaining basil (torn), then soften for 2-3 mins.

- Throw in the cherry toms and cover for 5 mins to soften.

- Cook for another final 2 mins without the lid, stirring in any leftover ravioli filling.

STEP 7 - With the sauce done, move off the heat and cook the ravioli parcels in a big pan of boiling, well-salted water.

- After they rise to the surface, give them just 1-2 mins more, drain, mix through with sauce and serve.

To serve Nothing special is required, what with this recipe’s glorious red sauce and glowing green pasta parcels; it’s a color combo designed to wow your fellow diners. Enjoy!

Enjoyed this 'how to make ravioli' guide?

Then why not try…

• This classic spinach and ricotta ravioli recipe

• Make it sweet with this butternut squash ravioli recipe

• Or check out my full selection of ravioli recipes

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