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Agnolotti


Bond Girl
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I recently had one of the most inspiring agnolotti in LA's La Terza. The thing was light fluffy and swathed in a delicious butter sauce with wild mushrooms. The whole experience has inspired me to blow the dust off my pasta machine. Here's what they look like:

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Anyone know how it's done? and how do I get the best results?

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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There is a great description in The French Laundry Cookbook, and I have followed it to a tee, but they still didn't turn out the way the picture shows. A chef once told me that after you pipe the filling in and roll the pasta over the filling (after you read the recipe you will understand), then you have to let the pasta dry out for a little while before cutting them. I haven't tried it but it sounds like it would work.

Either way let me know how successful you are.

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

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Ramsay makes the same mistake, and I would say the Keller description is actually not so great. In his penultimate book, Ramay has a pumpkin 'ravioli' recipe that coincidentally is exactly the same as Keller's agnolotti - but he gets it wrong. Where Keller's pasta has a floating third wall, Ramsay's third wall sticks to one closest to it, giving a double thickness of pasta on one side, and a single thickness on the other, which obviously is completely useless.

I make quite a bit of pasta, and I've been over the Keller agnolotti recipe half a dozen times and still can't make real sense of the directions. When you roll over the flap, do you press it down in the same direction as you rolled it over (which is what Ramsay does, and adds more excess pasta), or are you supposed to tuck it under the filling, making a more refined dumpling?

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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In Piedmont's Le Langhe, agnolotti al plin are a favourite pasta, small, little sacks of stuffed pasta about the size of a dime. The filling is usually veal, sometimes vegetables and cheese. My winemaker friend Mario Fontana's mother Elda made these for us on a recent visit to Barolo - the 'al plin' indicates that the stuffed pasta (they really are one of the smallest of all ravioli type paste - almost more like tortellini in size) are pinched by hand. I'll ask Mario if his mother will share the recipe - and, most importantly, the method. Incidentally, they can be served con burro e formaggio or in brodo. We had them simply bathed in butter, and over this we spooned finely chopped black summer truffles which added a wonderful earthy flavour as well as a toothsome crunch.

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Those look rather yellow, and I know that several traditional Piemontese recipes for agnolotti use an all egg yolk dough, so that's something to consider. 3 yolks=1 egg.

Letting the pasta dry out a little before you cut it seems counterintuitive to me. It would seem that it would lead to the sheets drying out too much to be able to stick, and you'd run the risk of the filling soaking into the dough, making it soggy, and sticking to the board.

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I've watched the entire staff of my favorite Chinese restaurant make wontons during mid-afternoon. They stick a chopstick into the stuffing mix and take up about a teaspoon, lay it in the center of the wonton skin with the end of the chopstick toward a corner, roll the stick a full turn and pull it out, bend the opposite corners 1/2 turn, dab a bit of water/egg-yolk wash on them and squeeze them between thumb and forefinger.

Some variety of this should work, using a water/egg-yolk adhesive -- perhaps dipping your fingertip in the wash and running it around the edge of the pasta sheet, putting the filling on with a chopstick, bending the sides up and squeezing the seam 2/3 of the way around, pulling the chopstick out, folding up the remaining side and squeezing that seam.

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In Piedmont's Le Langhe, agnolotti al plin are a favourite pasta, small, little sacks of stuffed pasta about the size of a dime. The filling is usually veal, sometimes vegetables and cheese. My winemaker friend Mario Fontana's mother Elda made these for us on a recent visit to Barolo - the 'al plin' indicates that the stuffed pasta (they really are one of the smallest of all ravioli type paste - almost more like tortellini in size) are pinched by hand. I'll ask Mario if his mother will share the recipe - and, most importantly, the method. Incidentally, they can be served con burro e formaggio or in brodo. We had them simply bathed in butter, and over this we spooned finely chopped black summer truffles which added a wonderful earthy flavour as well as a toothsome crunch.

Please ask her for the recipes. I was told by good authority that Keller complicate things too much. The instruction I was given so far was to fold them in thirds and then pinch the sides.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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I find this all very confusing in that I checked out all my Italian Cookbooks and ran a google search.

Even the ones that showed similar shapes instructed to make them like square ravioli or half moon shape and one shaped them similar to tortellini.

Some of the filling sounded delicious, though.

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The agnolotti from Piemonte area tops on my list of culinary epiphanies during a long stay in that region a few years ago.

I've found two recipes that I like (with a bit of tinkering). One from Matt Kramer's, A Passion for Piemonte, and the second from Marcella Hazan's Marcella Cucina. Their filling recipes are somewhat related--meats, herbs, greens. My personal preference is for the Kramer recipe, though I'd suggested cutting back on the number of eggs used to bind the filling together.

Both recommend that the agnolotti be sauced with a sage-butter sauce--something I wholeheartedly second. Not only is it more delicious than you might imagine, but after you've slaved over agnolotti, you won't want anything overly heavy or complex to mask their flavor. Plus, it's incredibly simple, which after making the agnolotti, is very welcome.

Lot's of work, but worth the effort. The first time I made them, it was as a pasta course for a dinner for 36 people. That was a long night...

edited to add that the Hazan cookbook includes photos of how to make them with the "pinch" (al plin) technique.

Edited by LindaK (log)


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  • 1 year later...
My winemaker friend Mario Fontana's mother Elda made these for us on a recent visit to Barolo - . . . I'll ask Mario if his mother will share the recipe - and, most importantly, the method.

Please ask her for the recipes.

At long last I've got Mario's mother's recipe and method. This is the real deal, the cucina casalinga way, as made by generations of mothers and grandmothers in Le Langhe. I haven't yet managed to upload pics etc to eG but the full and detailed process is illustrated here.

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Ramsay makes the same mistake, and I would say the Keller description is actually not so great. In his penultimate book, Ramay has a pumpkin 'ravioli' recipe that coincidentally is exactly the same as Keller's agnolotti - but he gets it wrong.  Where Keller's pasta has a floating third wall, Ramsay's third wall sticks to one closest to it, giving a double thickness of pasta on one side, and a single thickness on the other, which obviously is completely useless.

I make quite a bit of pasta, and I've been over the Keller agnolotti recipe half a dozen times and still can't make real sense of the directions. When you roll over the flap, do you press it down in the same direction as you rolled it over (which is what Ramsay does, and adds more excess pasta), or are you supposed to tuck it under the filling, making a more refined dumpling?

I've made these successfully several times. At first I tried to use the directions in the FL Cookbook, but I have to agree with MobyP, that Keller's instructions are not at all useful. I sat for one whole afternoon trying to make sense of them, and eventually gave up and just made squares.

When I finally went to the FL I studied those little guys intently. It seems to me that when you roll over the flap with your ravioli cutter, you do go in the same direction as you rolled it over. It does create a little flap, but this is what makes them so clever, because they are self-contained little packages that will never explode.

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gallery_41870_2503_35130.jpg

Edited by Shaya (log)
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Marc, that's the best agnolotti demo I've ever seen. Brilliant. Thanks.

Shaya - I'm shamed! If that beautiful kid can do it, so can I!

Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I agree. Thats a great demo up there! Good job!

Ive made this things a million times, and once you understand the basic movements and fold overs, its pretty simple. Just dont think about it too much. Roll out the dough, pipe the farce, fold over, crimp with fingers, then cut. No more. This is definitly one of my favorite pastas.

Did you know agnolotti means little pillow in Italian? :P

-Chef Johhny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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I've always wanted to make agnolotti and thanks to this thread, I did for the first time last night. I'll eventually try the traditional stuffing, but l had some leftover smoked turkey so I added some kale, garlic, pecorino romano and eggs. Very rewarding!

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Just to add some ideas for farces, we have used celery root, butternut squash, basil, and carrot. If you want some recipes, just say the word. :)

-Chef Johnny

[EDIT] Sorry about the double post.

Edited by ChefJohnny (log)

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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Celery Root Farce for Agnolotti

Ingredients:

2-3 each Celery root

1 large white onion

1/4# unsalted butter

1 cup Chicken Stock

Cream to cover

8oz Mascarpone

Ground brioche

- Peel the celery root with a knife and chop into an even sized medium dice

- Julienne the onion and sweat in the butter until soft and translucent... NO COLOR

- Add the celery root, stock and enough cream to cover.

- Bring to a boil, reduce to low and cover. Cook until celery root is soft.

- Strain out the cream. Spin the onion/celery root until smooth.

- Add the mascarpone and combine. Add the brioche until the correct consistency is reached.

- Put into piping bag and make some awesome ango!

P.S.- We like to emulsify some white truffle oil into the farce for some added luxery. This was on our Thanksgiving tasting last year.

-Chef Johnny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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