Monday, 6 May 2013

Homemade Agnolotti With Lemon Herb Butter

Agnolotti are Piemontese stuffed pasta shapes, that come in many different varieties, some filled with cheese, others meat.  The name Agnolotti is said to be derived from Angelot, the name of the pasta maker who is said to have invented the shape.
They are, traditionaly square and small, about 3/4 of an inch to an inch on a side and are made using very thin sheets of pasta, but they can be made using the pinch method (below) to make a variation known as Agnolotti al Plin (Plin is Piemotese dialect for Pinch, as in between the thumb and fore finger) . They were traditionally made from cooked meat, in other words, leftovers, when times were hard.
I make them with a light, fresh mix of ricotta, lemon and herbs which makes an amazing flavourful summer pasta dish.

for pasta

1 quantity homemade pasta (click here)
200g ricotta
bunch fresh herbs,chopped - including Marjoram, Basil, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme
3tbsp grated lemon zest
salt & pepper

for sauce

olive oil
bunch fresh herbs,chopped - including Marjoram, Basil, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme
lemon juice to taste

grated Parmesan

To make your Agnolotti

Flatten your pasta dough a little by hand then run it through your pasta machine three times on the widest setting. Then run your pasta through again reducing the setttings everytime until you have a smooth thin pasta sheets.

In a bowl mix together the ricotta, herbs and lemon zest and beat to a smooth paste. Then scoop into a piping bag with a wide nozzle.

Along your pasta sheet pipe a line of filling about an inch and a half from the right hand side of your pasta sheet.

 Brush some beaten egg along the left hand side of the filling which will help deal the pasta tight.
Fold over the right hand side of pasta, over the filling and press down on the the egg-washed piece and press down to seal.

Along the line of filling starting at the end closest to you pinch the filling to squeeze it out slightly every inch and a half.

Run a serated dough cutter along the left hand edges, about half an inch from the filling, to cut away the excess pasta. Then run the cutter through the pinched area of pasta to divide up into individual Agnolotti. Pinch around each agnolotti to make sure they are sealed then leave to rest in fridge for an hour.


To make the dish

Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil then add a couple of good pinches of salt.
Drop in your agnolotti to cook, should take about 5-6 minutes.
While the agnolotti are cooking, place a large pan over a high heat and add a good knob of butter and a drizzle of oil and melt together till the butter is just beginning to foam. Add the chopped herbs and lemon juice and stir round with a wooden spoon to allow the lemon and hebs to flavour the butter.
By now your agnolotti should be cooked so scoop out of the water with a slotted spoon and add to the lemon herb butter. Toss gently till the agnolotti are coated in the butter sauce.
Serve into bowls the drizzle the remaining melted butter from the pan over the top of your agnolotti. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and enjoy.

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