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Bergamo-Style Ravioli

Gary Junken

Servings: 6 to 8

Amaretti, the small, almond-laced cookies, come from Italy’s Lombardy region and play an integral role in the cuisine of the small medieval city of Bergamo. They are found in many meat fillings, as in these ravioli, creating a play on sweet and savory.

This recipe is excerpted from The Italian Farmer’s Table.

Watch the Fine Cooking Culinary School Video Series, where the authors show you, step-by-step, how to make this dish, as well as eight other handmade pastas.


  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 peeled and sliced clove of garlic
  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 1 oz. amaretti cookies, broken up into small pieces
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. raisins
  • 3 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 recipe basic pasta dough
  • 4 oz. cubed pancetta
  • 1 Tbs. chopped sage


  • Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, being careful not to burn the garlic, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ground meat, season with salt and pepper, stir occasionally to break up the meat, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and cook slowly over medium-low heat, reducing the wine until dry. Add the lemon zest and the amaretti cookies, and stir well to combine.Moisten the bread crumbs and the raisins in the milk. Add to the meat mixture and stir well to combine. Pulse all of the ingredients together in a food processor until roughly combined. Stir in the grated cheese.

    Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Using a pasta machine, start at the widest setting and end with second-thinnest setting as you roll out the dough. To form the ravioli, cut the sheets of dough into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing out any air, to make a crescent-moon shape. Then press down on the flat side of the crescent moon to form a dip in the center.

    Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.

    Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat, until it renders some of its fat and begins to cook, but do not allow it to become crispy. Remove some grease from the pan, if necessary, and add the remaining butter. Once melted and beginning to foam, add the sage leaves.

    Drop the ravioli in the boiling water and cook until they begin to float to the top and are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli and add them to the pan with the pancetta and sage. Toss to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


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