• Nihari pasta served with saffron and bone marrow sauce (Amy Brown)Source: Amy Brown

Italian-restaurant chefs transformed the flavours of Indian Muslim spicy beef stew into a rich and elegant pasta dish. 'Capelli del prete' means priest's hat, as the pasta is folded into a shape similar to its namesake. 






Skill level

Average: 0.5 (1 vote)


For the pasta filling

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 g fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 1 g black pepper
  • 1 g nutmeg
  • 2 g fennel seeds
  • 1 clove
  • 1 g mace
  • 2 large dried chilis
  • 200 g onions chopped
  • 100 g lightly salted butter
  • 2 kg beef shin

For the pasta dough

  • 1 kg 00 flour
  • 10 eggs

For the saffron and bone marrow sauce

  • 1 kg bone marrow, soaked in cold water overnight to remove impurities (see note)
  • 2 g saffron
  • 50 ml water
  • 50 g fresh ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • 100 ml canola oil
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • lemon juice, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to start preparing this dish ahead.

1. To make the pasta filling, char the garlic and ginger in a pan, over a flame or on a barbecue until it is slightly blackened. Toast all the spices to bring out their flavour and then grind them to a powder in a spice grinder or food processor.

2. In a large pot caramelise the onions in butter, then add the beef shin and the ground spices. Cover the shin well with water and cook in the oven overnight at 120°C.

3. To make the pasta dough, mix the flour and eggs using the dough hook on a stand mixer until they are well combined. Remove from the mixer and knead until smooth, 5-10 minutes. Then rest for at least half an hour in the fridge.

4. When the beef shin is cool, take the meat from the pot and mix until smooth with an electric mixer, adding stock to create a moist consistency as you go.

5. After the pasta dough has rested, take it out of the fridge and start passing it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Fold it in half and pass it through again. Gradually reduce the thickness setting until you end up with a pasta sheet that is smooth and thin.

6. Cut it into squares, either with knife or pasta cutter. Put your beef mixture into a piping bag and pipe small rosettes onto the pasta squares. To make the cappelli spray pasta sheets with water, then take the four corners of the square and pinch together at the top closing the seams down the sides to create a pyramid shape.

7. To make the bone marrow and saffron sauce, start by making a saffron stock. Add the saffron to 500 ml of water in a small saucepan. Keep it just under the boil for 45 minutes.

8. Drain off the bone marrow you have soaked in water overnight and pat dry. Melt the bone marrow in a frying pan on a low to medium heat until the fat is rendered and it is cooked through.

9. Add the ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes until it has a little bit of colour. Mixed garlic with oil, then add to the pan and cook for about 20 seconds, so it doesn't burn. Add the saffron stock and bring to the boil. Add lemon zest.

10. Pour sauce into another bowl and slowly add cold butter to emulsify it, mixing with an electric hand mixer as you go. It's important to add the butter gradually so that it doesn't split. Add salt to taste. And a squeeze of lemon.

11. Warm the sauce through in a pan, while you cook your pasta for 2 minutes in boiling water.

12. Drain the pasta and add directly to the sauce warming in the pan. Serve immediately.


This recipe is from Flavour Swap - one of the short films as part of the SBS Short Film Festival. Stream episodes via SBS On Demand 


Your local butcher should be able to supply you with fresh bone marrow.