Agnolotti is a variety of ravioli (stuffed pasta having filling sealed between two layers of pasta dough) from the Piedmont region of Italy. It is made of roasted beef meat and vegetable filling inside two layers of flattened pasta dough. The word Agnolotti has its origin in the name of the recipe's inventor, 'Agnelot' or from the latin word 'anellus', meaning the ring shaped material inside pasta. It should, however, not be confused with Parma's stuffed pasta pockets called Anolini.
History of Agnolotti
The earliest mention of stuffed pasta comes in 14th century writings of Francisco de Marco, who was a merchant of Prato. Today, it is produced industrially by companies worldwide, like Arienti & Cattaneo, Ima, Ostoni, and Zamboni.
Varieties of Agnolotti Pasta
Agnolotti pasta is traditionally of square shape, of sides of about one inch length. However, it is also found in rectangular and smaller size, when it is called Agnolotti al Plin. 'Plin' means a 'pinch', and is called so because, after filling the stuffing, the pasta dough is sealed by pinching it with the thumb and forefinger. Agnolotti al Plin is hand prepared and made in the regions of Langhe and Monferrato.
Agnolotti Recipe Overview
Ingredients: Ingredients suggested by the Agnolotti recipe include onions, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, dry red wine, beef sirloin, pork loin, olive oil, sweet sausage, cabbage leaves (shredded), egg yolks, bread crumbs, pasta dough and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Method of Preparation: As suggested by most Agnolotti recipes, the meat filling (of beef and pork) should be marinated for at least six hours. The marinade is made of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns and wine. After about 6 hours of marination, the meat is strained.
After this some onion, carrot and celery is sautéed in heated olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a pan, and the meat added to it. This is cooked until brown on all sides. The reserved marinade is added to this and the contents are cooked till the marinade is reduced to half. Now warm water is added to this and the meat is allowed to cook. Once done, it is said aside to cool, reserving the cooking liquid. The contents are then pulsed in a food processor, after adding sausage and cabbage. To this are added egg yolk, parmigiano, bread crumbs and a pinch of salt.
The pasta dough for Agnolotti recipes is then rolled into about four inch strips. Teaspoonfuls of filling are placed on them. The edges of the strip are moistened with a little water and folded over, pressing them to seal. With a ravioli cutter or paring knife, the mounds are cut apart, and folded at the edges to make the pasta. This is then left covered with a clean cloth for about an hour. The agnolotti is then added with salt to boiling water and cooked till it rises to the surface. The remaining cooking liquid is then thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, and butter is added to it. The agnolotti is tossed with the sauce and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Agnolotti pasta is thus ready to be served.