Making ravioli is simple enough in theory. You lay a sheet of pasta on your work surface, add scoops of filling, and seal them in with another sheet of pasta. Cut the raviolis out with a chef knife or pizza slicer and you're done.
The problem with this method is that you often end up with odd-sized raviolis that are more pasta than filling. It can be hard to get a good seal between the layers when you're just pinching with your fingers, and it's frustrating when the raviolis break open during cooking.
Ravioli makers give us some insurance and add a level of quality-control to the whole process. The little wells mean that each ravioli gets just about the same amount of filling. The maker also helps you get more raviolis from your sheets of pasta, wasting less dough and giving us a better pasta-to-filling ratio. When you roll over the top with a rolling pin, the pockets are simultaneously sealed and cut apart. You get perfectly sized ravioli every time.
These pasta makers aren't too expensive, typically running between $25 and $35. You can also buy single-ravioli stamps for less than $10. Most models do need to be hand-washed and dried. But on the plus side, their slim shape makes them easy to store between uses.
If you find yourself making a lot of ravioli to freeze or eat during the week, one of these ravioli makers would be a good purchase for streamlining your process. Here are a few popular models you might consider:
Do you own a ravioli maker? Do you like it? And how often do you use it?