Nonna’s Veal Ravioli


800g veal

100g butter

1 onion, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 anchovy fillet

250 ml port or red wine

½ cup basil leaves

1 ½  litres tomato passata

3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

60g parmesan, grated

freshly grated parmesan to serve

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil




Ravioli Dough

400g plain flour

4 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil


Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and brown veal all over. Melt the butter in the pan and add onion, garlic and anchovy. Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft but not coloured. Increase the heat and stir in the port. Let it bubble vigorously for a few minutes, then stir in the basil and tomato passata, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, uncovered until the veal is very tender.

The sauce will become very thick and intense in flavour, but if it seems to be sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little water. When cooked, remove from the heat and leave to cool. Reserve the sauce for serving with the ravioli.

When cool, to make the filling, remove the veal from the sauce and cut into thin pieces, and mix with the parsley and parmesan, and a little of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the pasta dough, sift the flour onto a clean bench. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the yolks and gently stir it in the flour until combined. Add some olive oil and mix together, then knead the dough and let it rest.

Roll the pasta dough, finishing with very thin sheets. Cut them in long strips about 5cm wide. Place spoonfuls of the filing along a pasta strip about 4cm apart. Brush around the fillings with a little water and cover with another pasta strip. Press gently around the fillings to remove any air and seal. Cut into ravioli with a cutting wheel or a sharp knife. Continue making ravioli until you have used all the dough and filling.

The ravioli should be cooked straight away (or frozen on trays lined with baking paper). Cook in a pot of boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes, or until the ravioli rise to the top of the water Serve with the warmed tomato sauce and extra parmesan.