Agnolotti is a type of Italian stuffed pasta which originated in the Piedmont region. Italian cuisine, considered as one of the finest in the world, has produced various iconic dishes with Agnolotti being one of those.
Viewed by many as a work of art, this amazingly delicious dish is made by filling roasted meat or vegetables in rolled over pasta dough. It is then served with a very simple sauce or even just broth, so as not to distract too much from the distinct flavors. So if you are looking for a dish which is tastier than pasta, stuffed pasta it is!
Origin & Cultural Significance
Agnolotti is believed to have been originated way back in the 14th century and was invented to celebrate the end of the siege. It is named after the chef Angelot, who prepared it using leftover meat and filling it inside pasta.
The legend has it that Angelot was asked to prepare a savory dish for the celebration and he realized that they were short of food. So he ended up making pasta and stuffed it with leftovers.
The dish was loved by all, and since then, has become an essential component of the Italian food culture. Agnolotti has been modified countless times since its origin and different versions of the dish with different stuffings are available.
Types of Agnolotti
Agnolotti comes in different shapes, sizes and fillings. However, there are two major types. Agnolotti al plin, which derives its name from “plin” or “pinch”, as the pasta dough is sealed with a pinch, giving it its characteristic shape.
It is more prevalent around Langhe and Monferrato areas. Another type is Agnolotti gobbi which is more prevalent in the town of Asti.
It is named for its hunchbacked appearance and is prepared by filling up the pasta pockets abundantly so as to give it a curved shape.
Agnolotti is filled with a variety of fillings made with meats and vegetables. You can fill it up with braised beef, butternut squash, peas, Italian tomato and bread sauce, sweetcorn, basil and literally anything and everything.
However, meat stewed in red wine is very popular and widely loved.
Although there are numerous variations of Agnolotti, but we bring to you the spicier and saucier version of the mouthwatering Agnolotti filled with smoked chicken and mushrooms.
For the Pasta Dough:
- “00” flour or all-purpose flour - 3.5 cups
- Whole eggs - 5
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp
For the Filling
- Boneless chicken - 500g
- Mushrooms - 600g
- Extra virgin olive oil - ¾ cup
- Butter - 1 cup
- Fresh garlic - 50g
- Dry oregano - ½ tbsp
- Paprika - 2 tbsp
- Smoked paprika - 2 tbsp
- Sage - ½ tbsp
- Thyme - 1½ tbsp
- Onion powder - ½ tbsp.
- Garlic powder - 1 tbsp
- Rosemary - 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
- Cream cheese - 1 cup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the sauce
- Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp
- Onion - 1
- Garlic cloves - 2
- Chopped tomatoes - 850g
- Basil - 2 tbsp
- Mixed herbs - ½ tsp
Pasta Dough Preparation:
- To prepare the pasta dough sift the flour and a pinch of salt onto a clean counter top.
- Whisk 4 eggs and olive oil in a bowl. Create a well in the centre of the flour and start pouring the egg mixture gradually.
- Work with the hands to mix together the flour and the egg mixture until it forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
- Shift the dough in a lighted oiled bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Blend the garlic with oregano, paprika, smoked paprika, sage, thyme and onion powder.
- Marinade the chicken with the blended mixture. Add salt and pepper and leave it to rest for 2-3 hours.
- Smoke the chicken for almost an hour until it reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
- While the chicken is smoking, take oil and butter in a pan and sauté sliced mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and add the spices and fresh herbs.
- Remove from heat when the mushrooms start giving a delicious aroma and are well-colored.
- Allow the mixture to cool down a bit and then blitz them with cream cheese in a food processor.
- Take the mixture in a bowl and add shredded smoked chicken to it.
- Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the dough into halves and roll out until 1 mm thick. Then cut strips of 10 cm.
- On one side of each strip, place teaspoons of filling at 5 cm intervals.
- Whisk an egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Brush this mixture along the inner edge of the dough and between the fillings.
- Finally fold the dough over and press the edges together to seal them. Use a knife or a fluted pastry cutter to cut between the mounds of filling.
- Carefully lift each Agnolotti and place on a tray dusted with flour.
Tomato sauce preparation and Serving
- Boil the Agnolotti for 2 minutes in a large pan.
- Meanwhile, prepare tomato sauce in another pan. Sauce is prepared by heating finely chopped onion and garlic in heated oil until the onions are tender.
- Then add tomatoes, herbs, basil and seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Then add the agnolotti to tomato sauce and garnish with basil leaves.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1647Total Fat: 135gSaturated Fat: 53gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 72gCholesterol: 524mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 11gSugar: 14gProtein: 59g
Although the recipe does appear a little intimidating, but once you get to it, it’s actually not that difficult. So what are you waiting for, get started and indulge in the delicious aromas of Italian heritage.