This week, we have several posts about how to make one particular dish. Today, we’ll shape agnolotti, perhaps the easiest filled pasta shape, from our beet pasta dough, and fill them with beet-green filling, making a beet-iriffic pasta.
We first saw how to make agnolotti in The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller, and, to be honest, after looking at the pictures and the instructions, we still weren’t quite sure what to do to make our own agnolotti. The pictures were closeups, but they were artistically out of focus, so we couldn’t exactly see what was going on. Agnolotti fell off our to-do list for awhile. When we made a new type of pasta dough, we brought up the idea of making agnolotti instead of ravioli, and hit the Internet. The Kitchn has a nice tutorial that we consulted, but we’ll give you a run-down on the process, too.
You’ll need a batch of pasta dough, and some sort of filling that you might use for ravioli. We used the beet pasta dough, and beet green filling, that we posted earlier this week, but, if you didn’t make these, consider using our basic pasta dough and simple cheese filling. If possible, place the filling in a piping bag; it’ll be easier.
Roll pasta sheet. First, roll out the dough into a sheet about 4-5 inches wide and 10-12 inches long. You can do this with either a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Both work just fine. If you wish, you can trim off the ends to square them up.
Pipe filling. Start about an inch from the end, and pipe a row of filling along the pasta sheet, keeping it an inch or so from the edge. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can carefully spoon the filling in a nice row.
Roll pasta. Okay, what you want to do is roll up the pasta, completely around the filling. So, carefully fold the pasta sheet up and over the filling, and continue rolling until the pasta is in a double layer directly below the roll. That is, so there’s an overlapping layer of pasta on the bottom. If your pasta dough is dry, you might want to dampen the overlapping part slightly with a moistened finger immediately before forming the overlap to help the dough seal.
Cut away excess dough. Use a knife, or a fluted-wheel cutter, to trim away the excess pasta and form a nice edge.
Form agnolotti. Use a chopstick, a pencil, or some other round object to press across the pasta and push together the two layers of pasta. The filling will be pushed to the side. Roll the chopstick from side to side slightly to form an edge and make the filling puff out into little pillows.
Cut agnolotti. Use the fluted wheel cutter to cut the pillows away from each other. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Freeze. Place the agnolotti in the freezer until completely frozen and transfer to a plastic bag for longer-term storage. Agnolotti can be boiled directly from the freezer.
Boil. You really don’t want to boil filled pasta; instead, place them in gently simmering salted water, stirring gently. After they float to the surface, cook for 2 minutes more, then remove with a slotted spoon.
This is probably the easiest filled pasta shape to make, and, once you make a roll, or two, you’ll be cranking them out like no tomorrow. They’re that easy, and, it shows why restaurants like to use them instead of other shapes, such as ravioli or tortellini. So, five stars.