Jan 2, 2011

Agnolotti recipe

Agnolotti are a type of square ravioli typical of the Piedmont region, made with thinly flattened pasta dough, folded over and stuffed with a ground meat and vegetable filling. Typically, agnolotti are made with leftover cooked meat. This is another example of how the ages-old habit of recycling food in Italy commonly results in an elegant and very tasty dish.

My mother and I made a batch for Sunday lunch today. Here is the step by step recipe, which yielded 70 agnolotti pockets. We cooked half and froze the rest in sealed freezer bags.

For the pasta dough
500 g (2 1/2 cups) flour, possibly "00" + more for dusting
6 eggs
3 yolks

For the filling
400 g (2 cups) beef pot roast leftovers
150 g (3/4 cup) roast turkey, chicken or other cooked white meat dish
50 g (1/4 cup) mortadella, roasted sausage or any other pork cold cut (not prosciutto)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
A bunch of fresh spinach (you can use other greens if you like)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
3 whole eggs
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Make the dough from the flour and the eggs (see instructions if need be), put it in a bowl, cover it with a moist kitchen towel, and let it sit.

Blanch the greens for 3 minutes, drain, squeezing well to extract moisture, and mince them finely. Then sauté in the butter until done and set aside.

Remove bones, sausage casings and any sinewy parts, and grind the meats quite finely (you can blend them, but be careful not to make a paste!).

Combine ground meats, sautéed greens and all other ingredients for the filling in a bowl, and mix thoroughly with your hands to obtain a homogeneous mixture, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Roll out the pasta dough dime-thin. I use an Imperia pasta machine, which gives me the necessary long and paper-thin sheets ready to be stuffed and cut into perfect agnolotti. But you're free to roll out the dough by hand, obviously!

Cut the rolled dough into long strips, about 20-inch long and 3 inches high, and cover to keep moist.

On your dusted work surface, dot a sheet with blebs of filling about the size of a small walnut, putting the dots in a row, about an inch apart. Make sure the row is in the bottom half of the pasta sheet.

Fold over the top part of the sheet, and lay it over the filling. Crimp the sheet down well around the filling to make it stick, and cut the agnolotti free with a serrated pastry wheel.

Boil the agnolotti in broth or salted water, fishing them out with a skimmer into a serving bowl, as soon as they rise to the bubbling surface.

Typically, Piedmontese agnolotti are dressed in beef broth with a little melted butter, or in a fresh sage and browned butter sauce. A complex condiment would play down the flavors contained in the agnolotti pockets.

I usually season mine with a simple tomato sauce, and dust with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano. As an alternative, you can dress your agnolotti with drippings from Braciole or Involtini.

Wine? This plate begs for a full-bodied, unoaked Piedmontese Barbera d'Asti!

Buon appetito.


  1. OMG those agnolotti look delicious and I just love a Barbera d'Asti! Cheers & thanks for sharing:)

  2. Hi Lola-I agree with you about 2010. All the horrible things happening in our country and in Europe.
    Also deaths, which probably affected all of us.
    Your agnelotti looks so delicious yet simple to make once you have the knowledge and equipment. Incidentally, I own about 3 of these simple pasta machines, they are the best. Also the same board, left to me by my aunt. Reminds me of our kitchen when we are making home made pastas.
    I hope the new year will bring you/us, a better year, than the one before.
    Buon Anno, Nuovo!
    Ciao e Baci!

  3. Stephanie~
    Cin cin! Agnolotti and Barbera go hand in hand like a good marriage. Glad you enjoyed!

    I have a feeling it will. I just bought a tagliatelle extension to my machine and can't wait to use it!!
    Thanks for your sweet words.

  4. oh my, that looks incredible and made with love and care too!

  5. hi Lola, happy 2011 to you!
    this recipe looks delicious, the simple tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan appeals to me most.
    Lovely to be able to make these with your mother- what a joy!

  6. I found you on my daughters side panel and the name intrigued me enough to come over for a look-see, and my word, my mouth has been watering. How enticing, I swear I can smell your kitchen.

    I most certainly will be back and who knows, I might even try to make some myself.

  7. I can't wait until I have a kitchen with counter space so I can try your delicious recipes.

  8. The agnelotti are on my "to do" list this winter weekend. I particularly love it in the broth. Now, I just need some leftover meat.

  9. You always make things look so easy. And delicious.l

  10. Ciao! These look delicious, these sort of remind me of the Bertolli brand dinner pastas that have filling inside.

  11. mmm...this sounds and looks heavenly lola...hope you new year is starting grand...

  12. I should make a not for myself: "Do NOT read 'Aglio...' around lunch time when you do not have any lunch to eat."


  13. Tammie Lee~
    The two key ingredients for successful cooking!


    A joy indeed! Happy you like them.


    Welcome! Here's a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable while I slice some warm bread...
    Who is your daughter? ;)


    Is a house hunt in the works?


    Well you can make some roast and not eat all of it... Remember, a curl of butter in each soup bowl before you ladle the broth and agnolotti swimming in it. Adds a Piedmontese touch of authenticity!


    This is not exactly a quick thing to make, but the moves and crafting procedure are so comforting!


    ...only a gazillion times tastier!


    Comfort food to the nth degree. Things re looking good here. And you? Chin up, buddy.


    No lunch? That's terrible! No emergency soup? Stash of salumi? Oh, no...


  14. It is always nice to see mom's cooking with there daughters, priceless!! We are on the same wave length, just posted a homemade ravioli dish. Yours looks so good :)

  15. Love your pasta board and rolling pin! My mom has a board like that...her father made it for her. I have cannoli sticks made out of a broom stick...does that count?

  16. Frank~
    Buon appetito, then!


    I'll pop right over and see how you made yours! Ciao


    Of course it counts, it counts double because it's thrifty and smart! How great that your grandfather made the board for her!

  17. dear lola, there is something so calming and satisfying just looking at these fotos of agnolotti........it must be a form of meditation to make them! i can see you and your dear mom rolling out the dough together - are those her lovely and wise hands in the foto?

    sending love and best wishes to you and little e - and hoping your trip over christmas went well♡


  18. How nice that you and your mom share this cooking task. And what beautiful agnolotti you've made.

  19. Amamda~
    I find cooking in general a form of meditation, agnolotti and all handmade pasta in particluar. The trip was somewhat of an adventure, but great. Too quick!


    Yes, it is her hands... la mia mamma.


    Thank you! They were very tasty too!


  20. Love that you recycled leftover pot roast into the delicious looking filling for these agnolotti.

  21. Ele, these sound absolutely DELICIOUS! And, they don't sound too difficult for my 10 thumbs to put together!

    Happy New Year!

  22. I made 68 agnolotti today for my son and his wife visting this weekend for a late Christmas celebration. love your blog, mangia benne, Suzan

  23. I made 68 agnolotti for my son and his wife visiting this weekend for a late Christmas celebration.
    Love your blog, mangia benne

  24. Frugal food so satisfying and nutritious. And time together with Mama.
    My sister just asked for our Mama's black bean soup recipe, which I photo copied and mailed to her. This brings back fond memories.

  25. CCLinda~
    Much of traditional Italian cooking employs leftovers; that–along with eating in season and locally–define our original cuisine.


    You should try it, it's fun! More relaxing than yoga!!


    I love big family meals, with lots of hugging, laughter and overlapping conversations!


    How wonderful that you can keep this sensory reminder alive! Exchanging family recipes, and making them serves such a sweet purpose!


  26. Hi Lola! Stopping by to wish you a fabulous 2011!! I hope that 2010 is most firmly put behind us all :)

    These Agnolotti look absolutely gorgeous..

  27. Karen~
    Ciao and welcome back! So nice to see you again.
    Yes, 2010 is definitely archived as one of the worst ever! Fortunately 2011 is beginning well, with these agnolotti as harbingers of future memoarble meals.
    Buon anno to you and your loved ones.

  28. I would enjoy that! Maybe one day.
    Lola, I will be visiting Italy in three weeks! I will be preforming at the Macef,in Milan. And you may be seeing me on a cook show! Yes! Then the amalfi coast. If your in any of those areas let me know. I would love to meet you.
    All the best, Chuck
    P.S. Rome next time!!

  29. CChuck~
    That's wonderful! What kind of performance, in a cooking stand at Macef? How exciting! Will you be hooking up with our fellow bloggers in Amalfi? Say hi to Laura for me.
    I'll be looking forward to seeing you in Rome nex time then!

  30. Ah! Eleonora, good girl, you suggested my dinner :-) Look at *here* (the simple tomato sauce is by my mom and... No Parmigiano -that I love- for me on tomato sauce). Slurp !

  31. Fabrizio~
    Ha ha ha, la Barbera d'Asti, hai visto!? We are in perfect synch, you and I!!!
    Buona scarpetta...

  32. One word: Yum!


  33. Paz~
    So nice to see you back here! Glad you enjoyed our agnolotti. Keep warm, we're seeing apocalyptic NY snow scenes in the news...

  34. wow! and in english,me piace!

  35. Marie~
    all my blogs (save for F O R C H E T T I N E) are all written in English! Buon appetito

  36. You know you're reading a great food post when you extract yourself from a conversation to give it your full attention. My co-worker is mad at me now, but who cares? Thanks for the great pics and instructions!

  37. Tv Food & Drink~
    Oh, no I don't want your co-worker to be mad at you!! Offer to make agnolotti for him/her...
    Thanks for your lovely comment.