Agnolotti al Plin & Favorita

It’s the final week in the food bloggers competition hosted by the Tourist Office of Langhe and Roero.  This week’s ingredient from the region is Agnolotti al Plin.  We love homemade pasta at our house, but truth be told, I’ve never made Agnolotti.  Never too late to learn!

Agnolotti al Plin is a pasta traditionally made to stretch leftovers.  Cooks make a filling from whatever they have in their kitchen to use everything, waste nothing.  Excellent advice for us all.  I decided to go with a traditional approach, but to add some local touches.  Everything came from items we had in our refrigerator; either leftovers or unused portions which might otherwise go to waste.

Favorita was our wine choice, true to the Langhe and Roero regions of Italy.  This is a lovely crisp white wine which I felt would go well with the sauce and vegetables in the meal.

True to tradition, the meal was based on pantry ingredients and leftovers

True to tradition, the meal was based on pantry ingredients and leftovers

Azienda Agricola Negro Angelo Langhe Favorita “Onorata” 2012 ($22 locally)
Eye: Clear lemon yellow, slightly frizzante, just a touch of effervescence (look for the tiny bubbles in the photo).
Nose: Fresh lemons and mineral notes.
Mouth: Rich mouthfeel, a bit oily and unctuous. Nice tingling sensation from frizzante.  Mineral notes in the flavor.

Negro Angelo Favorita - look for a touch of fizz!

Negro Angelo Favorita – look for a touch of fizz!

The dish looks beautiful, with a variety of colors and textures.  The roasted flavors in the squash provided a nice counterpoint to the fresh hints of spring in the asparagus.  The pasta?  Perfect in the sage butter sauce, the filling was very tasty.  A winner.

Fresh pasta plus tastes of both winter and spring

Fresh pasta plus tastes of both winter and spring

Making the Meal
Never made agnolotti before?  Here’s an excellent video showing exactly how to do it yourself. It’s in Italian, but you don’t need the words, you need the video.

Agnolotti al Plin with Butternut Squash and Asparagus in Sage Butter sauce

Wine Pairing: Langhe or Roero Favorita
Pasta Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose floweragnolotti_favorita_20140317_14
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Save the egg white from above to use as a sealer for the pasta when assembling the agnolotti

Instructions

  • Make a mound of the flower, then clear out a hole in the center with your fingers. Make sure the hole is big enough to hold all the other liquid ingredients
  • Place all the other in the hole in the center of the mound.
  • Using a fork, start stir to incorporate the flour into the liquid.  Once the liquid has firmed up enough, you can mix the flour in further
  • As you knead the dough and continue to work in the flour, you will get to the point when no more flour should be worked in.  You’ll know you have reached that point when the dough ball is moist but not sticky and not too dry.agnolotti_favorita_20140318_25
  • Knead the ball of dough further, for about 10 minutes.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap to rest.
  • To roll out the dough, first cut the dough ball in 1/2.
  • Flatten out a piece of the dough ball and run it through your pasta roller at its widest setting.
  • Fold the dough into thirds and run it through again.  Do this several times until the dough is nice and smooth and pliable.
  • Work the dough down to the thinnest setting on your pasta roller, you should be able to see light through the dough.
  • Cover the dough sheets with plastic wrap or wax paper to rest for about 20 minutes while you make the filling.

Agnolotti Filling IngredientsTraditionally, agnolotti is filled with leftovers, so you have a wide latitude on what ingredients you would like to include.  We had unused prosciutto, brussels sprouts and leftover sauteed onions and mushrooms from another meal.  You will need to chop finely or use a food processor to make the proper consistency.

Our ingredients – you can be creative with yours!

  • 50 grams prosciutto
  • 4 brussels sprouts, lightly steamed and sliced very thinly on a mandoline
  • 1 onion, chopped and sauteed with the mushrooms
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced and sauteed with the onions in olive oil
  • 50 grams hard cheese, shredded.  We used Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Dash of olive oil
  • Dash of red wine

Instructions

  • Either chop very finely or use a food processor to process the mixture into a rough paste which you can squeeze through a pastry filling bag.agnolotti_favorita_20140318_34
  • Spoon the mixture into the pastry bag
  • Working over 1 piece of the pasta dough, squirt little 1/2 tsp dollops of filling, leaving a space between each one.  You may be able to fit two rows of filling dollops.
  • Using a brush, run a line of egg white down the line of filling.
  • Fold the pasta over the line of filling dots.
  • Press the pasta down in between the dots of filling first, then press the pasta down the line to seal.agnolotti_favorita_20140318_52
  • Run a pastry cutter down the line of agnolotti’s first, then run the cutter between them to separate
  • To cook, bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil
  • If you are trying the squash and asparagus recipe, cook the asparagus in the pasta water first!
  • Drop the agnolotti in, boil for 2 minutes and test taste to your liking.

Butter and Sage sauce
Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs of unsalted butter
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, sliced thinly

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter, toss in the sage
  • Once the butter is melted, remove from heat
  • The longer the sage sits in the butter, the more intense the sage flavor will become

Butternut Squash and Asparagus
This is a nice combination late in the winter.  You’ll taste a bit of winter from the squash and a bit of spring with the asparagus.
Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into bit size piecesagnolotti_favorita_20140318_69
  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
  • 50 grams of grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Toss the squash in the olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Roast the squash for 25 minutes until nicely browned
  • Slice the asparagus into bite size pieces
  • Blanch the asparagus in your pasta water before cooking the agnolotti
  • For the asparagus, cook for 1 minute to crisp, 90 seconds to soft but still fresh
  • Toss the cooked pasta, the butternut squash, the asparagus and the butter and sage sauce together and serve
  • Top the dish with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Enjoy!

Thanks to Tu Langhe Roero for hosting a fun contest.  I’ve had the chance to try some new ingredients and recipes, and I’ve met some fun Italian foodies!

agnolotti_favorita_20140318_131

Comments
10 Responses to “Agnolotti al Plin & Favorita”
  1. You’re killing me, Jeff! That looks so delicious! Great vinous partner for your pasta creation. Good luck!

  2. Cinzia says:

    Delicious, really!!
    Good luck for the contest!
    Cinzia

  3. Cinzia says:

    Hi, Jeff, and thanks for the comment! It has not been so easy making agnolotti with “plin”, I am happy that you agree too! And I must say that yours look better than mine (grrr) ..;-) But they give me a lot of satisfaction, however, for being the first time i made it!
    Good afternoon!
    Cinzia

  4. Wine Pass says:

    Amazing! All by hand, and it looks professional. I’ve gotta ask… How long did it take from start to end?

    • thanks for your kind words!
      I’m not the most time-efficient cook, but here’s the rundown:
      – day before: make the pasta dough and filling – 1 hour
      – meal day: walk in the kitchen to dinner on the table: 2 hours, although this includes photography setup, inluding tripod & self timer, etc…

      • Wine Pass says:

        That’s less time than I expected, considering you also took the time to set up the camera and food. I’m more and more inspired to make these (even though having them available in the closest pastificio is too easy and tempting..!).

      • I would be tempted if we had a pastificio here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the “fresh” pasta we have available is not worthwhile. So, we make our own!

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