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Homemade Italian meat ravioli with butter and sage pasta sauce

Easy Ground Pork Meat Filling For Ravioli

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 ravioli (about 2 1/2 inches each)
  • Category: Fresh Homemade Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


Made with fast cooking ground pork, bacon, onions, celery, garlic and rosemary this was my recipe testers’ favorite meat filling! The filling can be made in advance, up to 3 days in the fridge. Use it to make your very own Italian meat ravioli with my master fresh homemade pasta recipe or sourdough pasta. Recipe adapted with changes from Jamie Oliver.

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A Note On Ravioli Yield:

How many ravioli does this recipe make? If you follow my exact technique outlined below you will get (20) 2 1/2- 3 inch ravioli. So for example, to feed 4 people, each person would get 5 ravioli with sauce. This portion size might not sound like a lot, but meat ravioli is filling!

Now, if you use a different ravioli technique (there are a few), your yield might increase. For example, a ravioli mold with 12 spaces will get you approximately 48 ravioli. In comparison to my hand-cut technique, ravioli molds are very “filling heavy” and feature little to no pasta on the sides (for me, the pasta is the best part). Cutting ravioli by hand allows you to control the overall size and the filling to pasta ratio.

Finally: if you want to hand-cut your ravioli using my technique below, but want to increase the yield to more than (20) pieces, you do not need to double the recipe. Make them smaller. To do so: Assemble 2 rows of filling/ pasta sheet (instead of 1), decreasing the filling size from 1 tablespoon to 1/2 tablespoon to fit side-by-side. Or, roll the dough even thinner than the suggested thickness of approximately .40mm (#5 on Kitchen Aid) to .30mm (#6 on Kitchen Aid) to increase the length of your pasta sheets. The longer the sheets, the more ravioli you can make.


For The Meat Filling

  • 30 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 80 g (2.8 oz) thick-cut smoked bacon, diced (I used Niman Ranch)
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 2 celery stick, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Small rosemary sprig
  • 230 g (1/2 lb) ground pork
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 g (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) plain dry breadcrumbs (I use sourdough breadcrumbs)

For The Ravioli

(1) Fresh Homemade Pasta Dough or Sourdough Pasta rolled into sheets, approximately .40mm thick (#5 on Kitchen Aid) or thinner. Full step-by-step instructions here.

Sauce To Serve

  • 120 g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light colored chicken stock (I use organic chicken bone broth from Trader Joe’s)
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Salt, to taste

Alternative option: Pomodoro sauce


Make The Meat Filling

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced bacon, onions, celery, garlic and rosemary sprig. Sauté until soft but not colored, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground pork. Break up the meat with the back of a fork. Season with nutmeg and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook until the pork loses its pink color and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig. Remove the pan from heat; cool slightly before proceeding to the next step. Note: I skip seasoning with extra salt because the bacon and Parmesan cheese are naturally salty. Give it a taste and see for yourself!
  • Transfer the filling mixture to a food processor. Add the egg, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Process until a rustic “paste” forms. It will not be completely smooth (but it should hold together when pinched).
  • Scoop into a bowl. At this point, cover the filling with plastic wrap and chill up to 3 days. Or assemble your ravioli right away. 

Fill & Assemble Ravioli

  • Dollop the meat filling (in tablespoon-sized portions) down the center of the pasta sheet. Space the dollops 2 finger-widths apart. Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop for easy portioning. Pat the filling down slightly. Place a second sheet on top like you’re making a sandwich.
  • Smooth the pasta sheet with your fingertips, working around the filling to get the air bubbles out. I use my pinkies. Press to seal the edges and sides.
  • With a ravioli cutter, cut the ravioli in half and then into strips. Trim into 2 1/2- 3-inch ravioli squares.
  • Transfer the ravioli to a parchment paper lined sheet pan dusted with semolina flour. Cover with a towel or an inverted sheet pan to keep them from drying out. Repeat to assemble and cut the remaining ravioli. 
  • When finished, decide how you want to store them: at room temperature (1 hr), in the fridge (2 hrs max) or freeze immediately (1 month). I prefer to freeze my ravioli. They hold their shape the best.

Make The Sauce

  • Pick what sauce you want to make: butter and sage pasta sauce pictured above (or a simple pomodoro sauce which you can make in advance and freeze). Both are really good. For the butter and sage sauce: in a skillet, bring the chicken stock to a rapid simmer. Add the butter, one pat at a time, letting it fully incorporate before adding more. This will help the sauce thicken properly. Add the sage leaves. Simmer until the sauce reduces and lightly coats the back of a metal spoon, about 10+ minutes. Taste and season with salt. Remove pan from heat. Gently reheat the sauce when ready to serve. (Optional step): in a separate small skillet, melt 30 g (2 tbsp) of unsalted butter over medium-low heat. Once the foam subsides, cook the butter stirring with a rubber spatula, until it turns light golden brown. This is “brown butter.” It happens fast! Transfer to a small bowl. Spoon this over the top of your dish if you’d like additional depth of flavor.

To Cook The Ravioli

  • I recommend always cooking a test batch first to gauge the correct time. Plunge 1-2 ravioli into a pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 6+ minutes or more, depending on thickness (the thicker the pasta, the longer the ravioli will take to cook). Taste for doneness. When finished, gently transfer the ravioli to a serving dish with a slotted spoon or fine mesh strainer. Be careful, they are delicate. Spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.
  • To Cook Frozen Ravioli: No need to defrost beforehand; cook directly from frozen. Drop a few ravioli into a pot of boiling salted water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for up to 6-7+ minutes or more until tender.