Ravioli Dolci

Magazine Monday's - Fall 2017 Issue

Article by Ty Ciatto

Feature photo by Leina Betzer

Working in the railroads was an inevitable part of life for Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. This was the reality for my own family in the 1920s who, fleeing the oppression of Mussolini, traded in the shores of southern Italy for the Reading Railroad. They left behind much of what they owned, but couldn’t bear abandoning their cultureespecially their food.

There’s one dessert in particular that stands out in the memories of my grandfather: ravioli dolci or ravioli cookies. Named for their visual similarities to traditional raviolis, ravioli dolci are filled with ricotta and other sweet ingredients.

Makes 3 dozen cookies


3⅓ cups flour

⅓ cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

1 egg

⅓ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


2 cups ricotta

1 egg

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar

⅓ cup sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Whisk the egg and vanilla extract, and add it into the flour mixture.
  2. Knead well for five minutes, adding milk gradually until the dough reaches a firm consistency. Roll the dough out to a ¼ of an inch in thickness. Cut the dough into 3 inch circles.
  3. Combine all ingredients for the filling in a separate bowl. Put one rounded tablespoon of filling on each piece of dough. Fold each cookie in half, moistening the edges with water so the two sides stick. Crimp down the edges with a fork. Place a small slit across the top of each cookie with a knife.
  4. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies turn lightly-brown. Remove from the oven, and set on a rack to cool.

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