Ravioli Ripieni di Pesce

Anchovy and White Fish Ravioli


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Anchovies and tomato paste, combined with white fish, make this a special dish with an intense flavour, from Emilia-Romagna. The fragrant herb butter is the only dressing for these ravioli, complementing and not overpowering them.


  • 4 canned anchovy fillets, drained
  • a little milk
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp tomato paste, diluted in 45 ml/3 tbsp hot water
  • 350 g/12 oz white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock, hake, plaice or flounder, boned and skinned
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

For the Pasta

  • 200 g/7 oz/ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 200 g/7 oz/generous 1 cup fine semolina
  • 4 whole eggs

To Serve

  • 300 g/11 oz/generous cups unsalted butter, melted
  • finely chopped parsley, chervil and a little tarragon


  1. Soak the anchovies in just enough milk to cover for 30 minutes, then rinse and dry on kitchen paper.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the anchovy fillets. Mash the anchovies to a pulp, using a fork, then add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsley. Mix together and fry gently together for 10 minutes, or until soft.

  3. Add the diluted tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the fish. Mix again and cook until a thick sauce has formed and the fish has broken up. Season to taste, then take off the heat and set aside to cool completely.

  4. To make the pasta, pile the flour and semolina on to the work surface and make a hollow in the middle with your fist. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together briefly. Pour into the hollow in the flour.
  5. Using your fingers, mix the eggs roughly into the flour, then use both your hands to knead everything together thoroughly until you have a smooth, pliable ball of dough. Wrap the dough in clear film or plastic wrap and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Roll the dough out as thinly as possible using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Cut the dough into two even sheets.
  7. Lay out one sheet of dough on the table and dot teaspoonfuls of the filling along the sheet in evenly spaced rows.
  8. Lay the second sheet of dough on top and press around each covered mound of filling with the sides of your hands to press out all the air. Cut around each mound with a ravioli cutter or pastry or cookie cutter. They can be square or round, or even triangular. Leave them to dry until required.
  9. Bring a large pan of salted water to a gentle boil. Drop in the ravioli and cook, in batches, for 3-4 minutes, or until they are floating on top of the water. Drain and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately, with the melted butter spooned over and sprinkled with the chopped herbs.