In a couple of weeks I am catering a private dinner for a work relation. I will be prepping everything in my home kitchen and finishing off in their kitchen, meaning I want to get every dish as close to finished as possible before transporting it.

One of the dishes I intend to serve is ravioli stuffed with cheese, herbs and eggyolks. I am unsure about the ideal stage at which to finish my home prep. Would you:

  1. Prepare the pasta dough and transport it wrapped in clingfilm to be rolled out on site?
  2. Roll out the pasta dough and cut it to size, leaving only the adding of the filling to be done on site?
  3. Prepare them fully and transport them with the filling already inside?

Option 1 means I have way more work to do on site than I think is ideal.

Option 2 seems like asking for trouble in the sense of the pasta drying out and making the ravioli leaky.

Option 3 might make ravioli stick together, burst or any number of other disasters.

What would you do and why? Feel free to include your tips on how to protect the semi finished products during transportation.

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    I don't know about the effect on the specific filling, but the guy I know who sells homemade ravioli at the farmer's market freezes them fully prepared and transports/sells them frozen. – Ecnerwal Apr 4 '15 at 18:03
  • How many people are you cooking for? What works for 4-8 people might not scale up for 100. – Joe Apr 5 '15 at 12:44
  • Have not heard yet exactly how many, but no more than a family. I'm assuming 8 to 12 people in total for now. – Richard ten Brink Apr 5 '15 at 18:58

I've done option 3 for a christmas dinner party, even with the egg-yolk trick. In one night I learned both that it can be done, and also that it can be a complete disaster.

I made three large pieces of ravioli per person, each with a different filling. I was most worried about the yolks breaking during transport, so I those in a separate tupperware box, very carefully with lots of flour. The rest I put in another box more haphazardly with less flour.

The egg ones were fine: out of 15, only 2 failed, which allowed me to serve everybody one piece at least. The others had completely stuck together and could only be turned into a weird mash in a frying pan.

So the trick is to package them properly: Give them a liberal dusting, do not let them rest on top of each other, and keep them from touching in general. Non-airtight containers may be better, since it stops the pasta from sweating. You might even consider creating a small cardboard partition inside the box to keep them from touching.

Plan to lose 10% to 20%, and do a small test ahead of time, and you should be fine.

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Ravioli and all fresh pasta for that matter work really well frozen. you just need to keep an eye on the cooking time as it will obviously be different. when i go to Vialeggio i always fill up of ravioli and tortellini, freeze and use over many months with great results. http://www.gardalake.com/place/valeggio-sul-mincio/

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Option 3 cooked 3/4 of the way is your best bet. When you drain the ravioli, coat with your oil of choice so they don't stick together. I would choose olive oil.

Then when onsite you can Blanche them to finish cooking them, and serve them fresh out of the pot.

Alternatively, if you are using a steam tray, cook them fully and coat with oil, put into your half pan or whatever and then reheat them in the steam table covered with foil to keep the moisture in.

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