recipe

Agnolotti: the Italian pasta recipe for typical agnolotti with butter

Total time: 2H50
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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Agnolotti (pronounced ah-nyuh-laht-tee) are a typical Italian pasta recipe. The agnolotti are shaped like small, square pasta cases about 3 cm which are stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Also called agnelotti, the Italian word agnolotti means "priest's hat" in English because of the shape.

This Piedmontese recipe is very popular all over Italy, especially the Monferrato area and the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. It was created as an anti-waste recipe to use up leftover meat, but there are several variants nowadays, also depending on the ingredients available, or local habits.

Agnolotti filling is usually made of rabbit, beef and pork which are braised separately, hence the name of ravioli with three roasts. The filling also includes a type of cured meat and a stewed vegetable, such as spinach, chard, escarole or cabbage. In Monferrato and Turin, the stuffing is prepared with pork, veal and brains, while in the Alessandria area it is made with beef stew.

According to tradition, you should season agnolotti with the sauce of roasts, with butter and sage, with beef broth or with ragù. We made classic agnolotti with a filling based on rabbit leg, roast neck, pork sausage and beef pulp together with stewed savoy cabbage. Once boiled, sauté the agnolotti in a pan with a knob of butter and the cooking juices of the roast. The result is rich and tasty, ready to conquer even the most demanding guest.

There is also another version of this recipe which is called agnolotti del plin. Very popular in the Langhe area, it's made of rectangular ravioli stuffed with roast veal or pork, or with lean meat with spinach and cheese. The name plin means "pinch" in English as it refers to the manual maneuver with which the filling is enclosed within the pasta.

Agnolotti vs Ravioli

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Agnolotti and ravioli are two types of Italian pasta very similar in appearance but still different. Both are stuffed pasta with a square shape, although agnolotti can also be rectangular, whereas ravioli can also have a circular or semi-circular shape.

The main difference between the two recipes lies in the fact that ravioli are made of two types of pasta put one on top of the other with a filling in the center. On the other hand, the agnolotti pasta dough is generally flattened and folded over a filling. However, many current recipes tend to use two types of pasta to speed up preparation time for agnolotti too.

Agnolotti Filling Ideas

We have chosen a traditional filling made of rabbit, beef, pork and vegetables, but you can fill the agnolotti as you want. For a vegetarian filling use spinach and ricotta, or potatoes, mushrooms and parmesan. You can also substitute the traditional meat filling with chicken. If you don't have any idea, you can get inspired by ravioli filling options.

How to store Agnolotti

Once cooked, the agnolotti can be stored in the refrigerator, in a special airtight container, for a maximum of one day. If you have used fresh ingredients, you can also freeze them raw.

Ingredients
for the pasta
Flour type 0
500 g
Eggs
5
for the stuffing
rabbit leg
400 g
Beef pulp
400 g
pork neck
350 g
Grated parmesan cheese
50 g
savoy cabbage leaves
5
Onions
3
Carrots
3
Celery
3 stalks
Pork sausage
2
Dry white wine
Rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine salt
Ground black pepper
to season
Butter
Sage

How to make Agnolotti

Clean and cut the vegetables into pieces: celery, carrots and onion.

Clean the meat from any nerves and parts of fat. Then remove the sausage casing.

Spread a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with some vegetables, a sprig of rosemary and the meat by type in three different pans. Then brown the pork along with the sausage, while the beef and rabbit in two other separate pans.

Deglaze each roast with white wine, then add fine salt and ground black pepper, cover two thirds with water, put the lid on and cook for about 2 hours on low heat, monitoring the cooking juices which must never drop below one third.

In the meantime, prepare the dough for the pastry; collect the flour in a large bowl, break the eggs in the center and mix with a fork.

As soon as the dough begins to show consistency, knead with your hands.

Work until the mixture appears homogeneous. Then form a loaf and let it rest in a bowl, well covered, for at least 30 minutes.

As soon as the roasts are ready, strain their cooking juices by collecting it in a saucepan; you will need it to season the agnolotti.

Wash the Savoy cabbage leaves and stew them with a drop of water together with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of fine salt. Turn off the flame, as soon as they appear soft.

In a large jug of a stand mixer, collect the pulp of the meat, the stewed vegetables and the grated parmesan cheese. Then blend until you get a firm paste and, if necessary, correct the density with a spoonful of roast juice.

With a pasta machine, or with a rolling pin, roll out the dough into two thin strips of 2 mm thickness and 30 cm length. Then, with a pastry bag, distribute piles of stuffing at regular intervals. Fold over the pasta and press down to seal.

Trim away excess pasta and pinch the filling to create pockets with fingers. With your fingers, apply some pressure between a stuffing and the other, sealing the ravioli and letting the air out. With a pastry wheel cutter, cut the agnolotti into squares.

Boil the agnolotti in boiling salted water, then drain when al dente and toss in a pan with a knob of butter and a few sage leaves.

Serve the agnolotti with butter and sage. Enjoy!

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