La Tosca Roller

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This wooden ravioli roller was used to stamp the ravioli pockets into the pasta sheets.
Source: Museum Victoria

Nello and Bruna Borghesi opened their La Tosca food factory in 1947. They had immigrated to Melbourne from Italy in 1929.

Ravioli was made daily and delivered in the family van to delis and restaurants in Carlton, the northern suburbs and the city. The exclusive Florentino’s and Mario’s restaurants were La Tosca customers.

Nello and Bruna’s son Lio began work in his parents’ factory as a teenager in the 1950s. While his mates went to the beach, Lio was up to his elbows in pasta dough.

Before the business grew and machinery was introduced, the Borghesi family produced all their products by hand.

This ravioli roller was used during the early 1950s to stamp the pasta dough and create the pockets for the ravioli filling, which was spread over the pasta with a spatula.

As Melbourne became more cosmopolitan and demand grew, La Tosca moved to machine production and developed an entire range of pasta.

Photograph of a yellow plastic Tyranasaurus Rex