Agnolotti
Agnolotti
Agnolotti are stuffed, fresh pasta from the Piedmont region of Italy.  Similar to ravioli in which
the filling is placed between 2 layers of dough and cut all around, agnolotti are simply folded
over.  Traditionally agnolotti are square in shape, with sides of about 1 inch.  They can also be
shaped like a half-moon or a rectangular smaller shape.  The small, rectangular shaped
agnolotti are called 'agnolotti al plin'; plin' means a 'pinch'.  The dough is pinched with the
thumb and forefinger between each mound of filling to close and seal the little pasta packets. 
The differences between agnolotti and its close cousin ravioli
were once more marked. 
Basic Egg Pasta Dough 
"Pasta al' Uovo"
(Makes about 1 pound of pasta)

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lukewarm water

Directions:

Place the flour on a large floured surface.
Make a well in the center.  Break the eggs into the well.
Add the salt, oil, and water. Beat the mixture in the well with a fork.
Using a fork, gently start to work the flour into the liquid.
Continue until the dough becomes sticky and difficult to work with the fork.
Use your hands to form the rough dough into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Cover with a bowl or towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the agnolotti:
Cut the pasta dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece through a pasta machine
until thin (1 or 2 stops thicker than the thinnest setting). You want the strips of
dough to be about 4 to 5 inches wide and 12 to 14 inches long.  Place the
strips on a floured surface and keep covered.

Form the agnolotti one strip at a time.
Place the dough running left to right in front of you on a floured surface.
Place a tablespoon of filling 1-inch from the side and 1-inch from the bottom of
the dough. Place more filling at 2-inch intervals along the entire length of the
dough.

Dip a pastry brush in water.
Moisten the long edges of the dough and between the mounds of filling.
Pick up the top long edge of the dough and fold it down to meet the bottom
edge.  Press the moistened edges together.  Pinch the dough together
between the mounds of filling.  Run a pastry wheel across the bottom edge of
the strip to cut and seal it.  Run the pastry wheel between the filling mounds to
separate the agnolotti.

Place the agnolotti in a single layer on a floured surface.
Repeat the process with the remaining strips of dough.

To cook the agnolotti:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Shake off excess flour and add the
agnolotti to the water, no more than 2 dozen at a time. Cook for about 4
minutes, stirring them occasionally so they don’t stick.

In the meantime, melt the butter for the sauce in a large skillet over low heat.
Add the sage leaves to infuse their flavor into butter.
Remove the cooked agnolotti and place them directly into the butter sauce.
Coat the agnolotti with the sauce and transfer to a serving platter.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Meat and Spinach Filling

Ingredients:

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
10 to 12 ounces boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 spring rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 to 12 ounces fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 egg
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Begin cooking the meat several hours before you plan on assembling the
agnolotti.

Put the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Season the beef with salt
and pepper and place them in the saucepan. Saute the meat a few minutes
until it begins to brown. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and chicken broth.
Cover the saucepan and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Remove
from the heat and allow the meat to cool in the saucepan.

Melt the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet; add the spinach. 
Season with salt and pepper. Cook the spinach, stirring continually, until it is
wilted and tender. Drain the spinach in a colander and allow it to rest until cool.

Transfer the cooled beef to a cutting board.  Reserve the pan juices.
Chop the beef into very fine pieces with a knife or food processor.
You want the meat to be chopped but not pureed.  Put the chopped meat into
a bowl.

Finely chop the onions and mix into the meat mixture along with the pan
juices.
Stir in the cooled spinach. Add the egg, nutmeg, and Parmesan, and season
with salt and pepper.
Veal and Breadcrumb Filling

Ingredients:

1 cup dried breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons warm milk
12 ounces ground veal
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Moisten the bread crumbs in warm milk in a bowl.
In a skillet, sauté the veal in butter until brown.
Allow to cool.

Combine the veal with the bread crumbs.
Stir in the egg and cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
Butter-Sage Sauce

Ingredients:

6 ounces of unsalted butter
6 to 8 sage leaves
Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat.
Add the sage leaves to infuse their flavor into butter.
Remove the cooked agnolotti and place them directly into the butter sauce.
Coat the agnolotti with the sauce and transfer to a serving platter.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Extra fine flour for baking also works beautifully for breads, pasta, and pizza  Made in Italy
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Agnolotti
Agnolotti, made in the northern regions of Italy, were generally stuffed with meat, while cooks from the central and coastal regions stuffed their ravioli with
cheese, fish and vegetables.  Now the difference between the two is not so distinct.  Every cook has his/her own version and fillings often depend on what
leftover ingredients the cook may have on hand.  Agnolotti can be gently poached, pan-fried in butter, added to broth to make soup, or served with a sauce. 
Typically, they are served in a beef broth with a little melted butter or in a fresh sage and melted butter sauce.   The Piedmontese also like to serve
agnolotti with white truffle shaved over them.

This recipe will make about 50 agnolotti, depending on the size that you make them. We are providing you with 2 stuffing recipes but agnolotti are a good
way to use up small amounts of leftover meat.  Reserve a piece of your leftover pot roast one day and add some roasted chicken from another day and you
have a great combination to make agnolotti filling.  Agnolotti may be cooked right after they are formed or they may be refrigerated.  To refrigerate, place the
agnolotti on a tray and cover with plastic wrap.  For longer storage, freeze the agnolotti on a tray and then place them in freezer bags.

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