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A few years ago, my heart stopped functioning properly. A cardiac artery was blocked, and I felt some strange and scary symptoms. The blockage was relieved with a stent, and the hospital that installed it included a detailed lecture to all such patients. They don’t want to see us again. Heeding that information has kept me healthy, and I want to share what I’ve learned.
Heart patients and others on low fat diets can’t order many restaurant pasta dishes because they’re too rich. Anything Alfredo is out of the question, and the meats and cheeses disqualify most of the rest of the menu.

I’m rather partial to ravioli, which in restaurants or frozen food cases is much too high in saturated fat to be safe. The solution? I make it myself. It’s really not that hard, if you have the right tools. You’re getting the first look at a recipe I’ve developed that’s so good that non-dieters will gobble up your share if you let them.

My recipe assumes you have the tools and know how to use them. If you do, you’ve made pasta before. And lemme tellya, it’s worth making. So much better than anything from the store. And fairly quick. I can decide I want spaghetti and have it on the plate in half an hour. As a bonus for Lansing Star readers, here’s my favorite hand made spaghetti meal: toss it with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and chopped Swiss chard sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. OMG. This equipment pays for itself in so many ways.

But without further ado, let me present

Low Fat Ravioli

This recipe assumes you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, with pasta rolling attachment, and one or two ravioli makers. The 12-cell form is the handiest.


  • 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • water if needed


  • 8 oz. Wegmans Hot Poultry Italian Sausage
  • 1 egg
  • Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Mix sausage, garlic, and egg thoroughly, adding bread crumbs until mixture is thick but still loose and wet. Add salt and pepper flakes to taste. Set aside.
  2. Place ravioli form on newspaper, large paper bag, or paper towels and spray it with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Prep the pasta with the paddle in the mixer bowl. Start mixing the flour and eggs, and after about 2 minutes, if the mixture stays like soft gravel, add water a teaspoon or so at a time, each time waiting at least 30 seconds for the dough to start gathering. Once it does, let the single mass of dough work for 4-5 minutes, rest 10-20 minutes, and work again for 4-5 minutes. Aim for firm but not too dry.
  4. Make a dough snake about the diameter of a banana. Run it through the rollers, starting at #1, and roll it to #5 thickness, the full width of the rollers. Cut the pasta into strips 2” longer than the ravioli form. Cover them with a wrung-out damp dish towel.
  5. Lay a cut strip of pasta onto the metal part of the ravioli maker, and press the pockets with the plastic part. Fill each pocket with a teaspoon or so of the filling. I like to use two round ended knives.
  6. Lightly paint the dough with water along all the form’s zigzags, and then lay on the top strip of pasta.
  7. With a rolling pin, press the form in all directions until the zigzags show through clearly. With wet hands, pull off excess pasta from around the form and roll it into a ball.    
  8. Push out the ravioli onto a silpat or an oiled tray. Separate and arrange them so they’re not touching.
  9. After filling two forms, combine the leftover dough, smack it into a pancake and run it through the rollers again to use in the last load.
You should get close to three dozen ravioli. If you run out of the meat mixture, fill the empty cells with the low fat or fat free cheese mixture of your choice. A grating or Parmigiana Reggiano elevates the flavor.

Boil gently in salted water, covered or partly covered — these things like to float — about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Cut open a sample to see if the filling’s cooked.

 Toss the cooked ravioli with olive oil and serve with tomato sauce. Life is good.

Please direct comments and questions for this series to me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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