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Ricotta ravioli with basil pesto at Ruggero’s. (Credit: Andrea Kiefer/East Wind)

There’s something special about cooking from scratch. In this series, we talk to local restaurants about dishes made from scratch. 

There’s no pre-made ravioli at Ruggero’s in Wading River.

“Cooking ‘from scratch’ is sometimes confused with cooking ‘a la minute,’ or pan to plate,” said Chef Brian Crawford. “It doesn’t mean you can’t store or jar things like sauces and pickles, but if you know your ingredients, cooking from scratch really helps you keep things fresh and healthy.”

Crawford said cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be hard.

“The thing about cooking from scratch that most people miss is that it doesn’t have to be difficult,” he said.

Handmade ravioli at Ruggero’s. (Credit: Andrea Kiefer/East Wind)

The ricotta ravioli with pesto “is as simple as a trip to Andrews Family Farm.” He uses fresh basil from the Calverton farm as the basis for his pesto.

“We make the pesto fresh every day, pluck the stems and blend with toasted pine nuts, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and olive oil and you’re done.”

Crawford added that the pesto can be mixed with marinara for a tomato pesto, cream and parmesan for a pesto cream or even mayonnaise.

To make the ravioli, “it’s equally simple,” Crawford explained, combining flour, salt, olive oil and eggs for the pasta, and ricotta, parmesan, garlic and oregano.

Chef’s kiss.

Ruggero’s is located at 5768 Route 25A, Wading River at the Shoppes at East Wind.

(Credit: Andrea Kiefer/East Wind)