Why You Should Skip The Colander When Straining Ravioli

Filled pasta like ravioli is an amazing thing, packed with a variety of tasty ingredients, from meats to cheeses to herb mixtures. However, cooking ravioli can be tricky, as the delicate pasta is prone to tearing open, scattering the delicious filling in the water. Many home cooks instinctively reach for a colander once the ravioli reaches al dente, but that can be a big mistake. Make things easier on yourself and skip the colander altogether to achieve the best possible results. Dumping the fragile pasta into a colander can cause it to be mushy or tear, leading to a less-than-perfect dish — and fillings lost down the drain. 

Instead of risking your store-bought or made-from-scratch ravioli, carefully remove the pasta from the water using a slotted spoon. By avoiding the colander, you can ensure your ravioli remains intact, ready to be served with your favorite sauce.

A better way to strain ravioli

A slotted spoon or Lidia Bastianich's favorite, the spider skimmer provides a gentler way to remove ravioli from the pot. These tools let you scoop a couple of ravioli at a time, drain off the water, and add them to sauce or directly onto a plate. This reduces the risk of tearing or damage to the tender pasta. Though it might take a bit longer than draining the whole pot in a colander, it's a far safer method in keeping the integrity of the pasta intact. Just be sure to work quickly so the ravioli in the pot doesn't become mushy or overcooked.  

As an added bonus, this method gives you an entire pot of starchy pasta water, which can help bind sauces and add a rich texture and flavor to your dish. It's easy to forget to save some when your go-to method involves draining in the sink, so the slotted spoon offers a solution to salvage the valuable liquid. Plus, this approach avoids the hassle of managing a hot pot full of scalding water, which can reduce the potential for burns or accidents. So, the next time you make your favorite rich ravioli recipe, grab your slotted spoon or skimmer.