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Jenny’s Experimental Dinner: Philly Cheese Steak Ravioli

Ravioli is a funny place to find Philly cheesesteak
Round 3 of the Experimental Dinner Game took place at Jenny’s, where she made homemade ravioli. From scratch. And not just any homemade ravioli… homemade ravioli stuffed with steak and a blend of cheeses, with a white mushroom-and-pepper sauce, inspired by the classic Philly cheesesteak. As a dinner, this little twist was the difference between predictability and genius.I invited the chef herself to do a little guest-blogging here and hand-deliver the recipe in her own words, and she was kind enough to agree to it! So without further ado (or, as was printed in 30,000 copies of a newspaper I once worked for, adieu), I’m going to hand it over to Jenny!

One evening, I was talking to Kristina about how I would like to plan a vacation around food. I offered up the example that I would like to go to Philadelphia to have the original Philly Cheese Steak. As soon as I said it, Kristina looked at me and said, “That’s your Dinner Experiment.” And so it was.

I reinvented the classic Philly into a ravioli. It turned out pretty tasty. The pasta came out a little on the thick side, and the meal was a little on the heavy side (think Beef Stroganoff), but overall I had a great time and made something I am happy to claim as my first “Dinner Experiment.”

As for the pasta itself, there are some great step-by-step tutorials online. I recommend this one because of the photos. I learned not to be afraid of fresh pasta. It is pretty easy, and tasty! I made mine without a pasta machine. It was thick and a little gummy, but totally edible. I can see the benefits of using a machine, but it’s not necessary unless you plan on making pasta a lot.

Jenny’s Philly Cheese Steak Ravioli

For Pasta

  • 2 cups semolina flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

For Filling

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded white american cheese
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (chop steak or chopped sirloin also work)
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

For Sauce

  • 1 green pepper (sliced into bite-sized strips)
  • 1 white or yellow onion (sliced into bite-sized strips)
  • 1 package of white or button mushrooms (pre-sliced or you slice)
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  1. Make your pasta dough by following the steps outlined here.
  2. While your pasta dough rests, it is time to start the filling. In a large pan, sauté the beef with the garlic, salt and pepper. Depending on the fattiness of the meat, you may need to add a little oil so it doesn’t stick. I cooked mine on medium heat so I wouldn’t burn it if I got distracted for a minute, and that seemed to work great. When it is browned, strain any excess grease and set it aside.
  3. Take a minute to combine the ricotta cheese and white american cheese in a bowl. Stir them until they are combined, no need to over mix. Then set that aside.
  4. Start the sauce by putting the oil in a sauce pan and adding the veggies. This shouldn’t need a lot of attention. Turn the burner on med-hi and cover the pan for now.
  5. Put a large pot of water on and set it to boil.
  6. After your fresh pasta rests for about 15 minutes, it’s time to roll it out. When you think it is thin enough, roll it out even thinner. Because it is doubled-up on the edges of the ravioli, it gets really thick if it is a little thick to begin with. You can use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the pasta into squares, but I used a round cookie cutter. I liked it because it made all of the pieces the exact same size. Some stores carry ravioli makers, but again that is only worth it if you plan on making a lot of ravioli.
  7. Once the pieces are cut, you either need to use them right away or cover then with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out. To start assembling the ravioli, place about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the center of one piece of pasta. (I found the two-spoon method to work best for me, since the cheese is sticky.) Add a pinch of the beef—just enough to give you the flavor and the texture, but not so much that the ravioli will be too full to close. (This may require a little practice, but you should have plenty of pasta to make a couple of boo-boos.) Wipe the edges of the bottom piece of pasta with a little water or egg. Then add the top and press around the edges. Yay, you have completed a raviolo! (Another thing I learned in this process was the singular of ravioli!)
  8. I made five or six at a time, and then added them to the boiling water. You are supposed to know when they are ready when they float, but I found that mine needed a little more time because they were thick. They should be way done after 10 minutes.
  9. As soon as the first batch of ravioli hits the boiling water, go ahead and add the cream of mushroom soup to your sauce pan. It will thin out as it simmers.
  10. Continue making the ravioli in batches until you have 20-25 (enough to feed four to six people). As each batch finishes, add it to sauce. Once all the ravioli is in the sauce, give it a little toss and you are ready to serve!

A big thanks to Jenny for a delicious meal and a wonderful recipe to share. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel emboldened to finally give fresh pasta a shot. Good luck to everyone else who decides to try out this cheesesteak ravioli… it’s delicious! —Kristina

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.