Beef ravioli from Civello's in East Dallas: Grab a bag.
Beef ravioli from Civello's in East Dallas: Grab a bag.
Nick Rallo

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 30: Beef Ravioli at Civello’s

Civello's Raviolismo is a humble factory. It’s bare-bones: There are a few metal tables; the ravioli-crafting equipment, most of it older than the internet; a few refrigerators rolling around; and a kitchen in the back.

Sometime in the morning, Oralia Olguin presses her palms into a football-shaped wad of dough. She leans into it, pressing one half into itself, over and over. The flattened dough is scattered with flour, run through a sheeter, over and over, thinning as it passes until it's delicately ribboned. In the kitchen, the aroma of ground beef fills the air as it folds with egg yolks, mounds of Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder and spinach. The beef mixture crackles as it hits the hot pan.

It’ll get chilled and then, later, encased by ravioli dough. There are no foraged mushrooms or artisanal fillings — this place exists in a different realm. It's Old World Dallas Italian. The resulting beef ravioli, made in house and right before your eyes if you're lucky, are comforting and warm. Civello's has been making them in the city since the mid-'50s. Grab a bag of beef (or ricotta if that's your thing) to go, boil and toss on tomato sauce with garden-fresh basil. You'll need to air-drop some Parmigiano Reggiano over them, and you’ve got a home-cooked meal that’s packed with Dallas history.

Civello's, 1318 N. Peak St.

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