• Pure Italian comfort. Mozzarella-filled basil ravioli is sure to make your stomach happy. The mozzarella and tomato sauce complete the classic Italian trio of green, white and red colours – Italy on a plate.

    Recipe by Omar Scarabello  

    Mozzarella-filled basil ravioli


    • Pasta

    • 2 cups “00” flour or pasta flour + a little extra, if necessary
    • 2 medium free-range eggs
    • 20g basil, shredded
    • Filling

    • 2 medium fresh mozzarella balls (preferably buffalo mozzarella), roughly chopped
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) Parmesan, grated
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Sauce

    • 4 fresh tomatoes
    • olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 50g olives, green or black, pitted and quartered
    • 2 – 3 basil leaves
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • mozzarella, torn into chunks, to serve
    • olive tapenade, to serve



    For the pasta, pour the flour onto a flat work surface and make a well. The walls around the edge of the mound should be high enough to contain the eggs.


    Crack the eggs into the well. Add the fresh basil and beat the eggs.


    Using a table knife, gradually mix the egg into the flour. Keep mixing until a thick paste is formed. Use your fingertips to incorporate the flour.


    Mix well until the dough forms a soft but firm and flexible ball. If the dough is dry, add a drop or two of water, until the pasta springs back to the touch. If you cut the ball of dough open, it should be full of small air bubbles and it is now ready to be set aside for 20 minutes, on a lightly floured work surface or tea towel. You can also lightly dust the pasta with flour and wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.


    For the filling, mix together the mozzarella and Parmesan, and season. Go easy on the salt as the cheese is


    already salted. Set aside.


    For the sauce, quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds and dice.


    Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan, heat gently, add a small clove of garlic and the olives, and cook, about 5 minutes.


    Add the fresh tomato and basil, and turn off the heat. Leave on the stove while you cut the pasta into ravioli shapes.


    After the 20 minutes’ resting time, roll out the pasta, a little at a time (or it will dry out) to a thickness of about 1mm or using the thinnest setting on a pasta machine. Lightly dust the work surface, the pasta and the rolling pin with flour to prevent them from sticking. Cut long lengths of pasta in half to make it easy to handle. Cut the pasta into ravioli using a cutter or making square shapes using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife. Lightly brush each square with a little water or a beaten egg.


    Heap each square with the mozzarella and Parmesan filling. Lift one corner ofthe square and place it over the opposite corner, creating a neat triangle. Gently press the sides down. Then hold the triangle and fold the edges inwards so that it resembles a bonnet. Bring the ends of the bonnet together, and pinch them around your finger. Set the ravioli aside on a floured board and repeat with the remaining squares.


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the ravioli in 2 or 3 batches. They will take 4 – 5 minutes to cook until ‘al dente’. Drain and set aside in a warm bowl until all the ravioli are ready for plating.


    Place the ravioli on a warm plate, top with the fresh tomato sauce, scatter with mozzarella chunks and drizzle with olive tapenade. Serve immediately.


    Cook's tip: The guide to making fresh pasta is 1 egg to 1 cup of “00” flour. As egg sizes differ, you may need to add less or more flour to create the right consistency and smoothness. You may also need to add a drop or two of water. Add grated nutmeg to the cheese filling.