Spinach Agnolotti

Spinach Agnolotti

Spinach Agnolotti

Agnolotti is a stuffed pasta that comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. Agnolotti are similar to ravioli, but they have a unique shape with two large dimples that assist in “trapping” sauce. I find them much easier and faster to make (watch my video on agnolotti) than ravioli, once you have mastered the technique. The filling in this recipe is a spinach-ricotta mixture, but they can be filled with everything from roasted vegetables and cheese, to braised meats and seafood.

In the recipe below, I serve the Agnolotti with an Oregano-Cream sauce and Sous Vide chicken thighs. To learn the basics of Sous Vide Cooking, see my post: “Sous Vide 101”.

The Egg Pasta Dough recipe is in my first cookbook on page 208 and also on this site in my post: “Pasta 101.”

The Spinach-Ricotta Filling is made by sautéing fresh spinach with garlic and olive oil. It is then chopped, cooled and added to a ricotta and Parmesan mixture.

Spinach Agnolotti

Place the filling in a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch opening. 

Follow the instructions for rolling out the pasta dough in the “Shaping the Pasta” section of my blog post: “Pasta 101.”  Using a Pasta Machine, roll the dough out to setting number 5, starting with setting 1, then 3 and ending at 5. The larger the number, the closer the rollers are and the thinner the pasta dough.

Spinach Agnolotti

Lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the dough with egg wash. Along the front edge, pipe 1 teaspoon sized dots of filling, about 1 1/2-inches apart in a straight line.

Gently roll the dough and filling away from you, enclosing the filling completely. Using your fingers, gently seal the dough on the other side of the filling where the two layers meet. Gently pinch, with 2 fingers, between the dots of filling, keeping the filling tall in small “cylinders,” and sealing the individual pieces.

Spinach Agnolotti

With a fluted pastry cutting wheel, cut the long edge where the two layers meet, creating a long strip with a scalloped edge. Now, take the wheel and cut between the filling, cutting away from you, and causing the edges of each piece to crimp down, creating the true agnolotti shape, with 2 dimples.

Remove to a flour-dusted sheet until ready to cook. Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil with 1 Tablespoon salt. Drop the agnolotti in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally. Strain the pasta, draining it well and add it to the sauce.

Spinach Agnolotti

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: PastaCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on

  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 bunch of fresh oregano

  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

  • 1 batch egg pasta dough (see my: “Pasta 101” blog)

  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 Tablespoons water

  • Spinach-Ricotta Filling
  • 1 pound of fresh spinach

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Directions

  • Oregano Cream with Chicken
  • Heat a water bath to 75-degrees C. (167-degrees F.) with an immersion circulator.
  • Remove the bone from the chicken thighs and lay them between sheets of plastic wrap. Pound out the thighs with a mallet until they are a uniform thickness, about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Place the thighs in a heavy-duty gallon-sized ziplock bag and add 3 Tablespoons olive oil, crushed garlic, 2 Tablespoons of chopped oregano leaves and salt and pepper.
  • Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal tight. Lower the bag into the hot water bath and top with a plate if necessary to ensure that the chicken is fully submerged. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the chicken thighs are cooked, remove them from the plastic bag and place them skin-side down in the hot olive oil. Crisp the skin until golden brown. Flip the chicken over and sear the other side until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard any oil left in the pan.
  • Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with the white wine, reducing for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and 2 Tablespoons of the chopped oregano leaves and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream and reduce for 1 minute, to a nice sauce consistency. 
  • Dice the chicken thighs into 1/2-inch pieces and reserve, warm.
  • Spinach-Ricotta Filling
  • Remove the stems and any large veins from the spinach leaves. If you are using large spinach leaves, coarsely chop them into approximately 1-inch pieces.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. Cook for 10 seconds and add the spinach. Toss, cooking until it wilts. 
  • Drain off excess moisture and cool.
  • Place the spinach in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined.  
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Filling and Cooking the Pasta
  • Place the filling in a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch opening. 
  • Follow the instructions for rolling out the pasta dough in the “Shaping the Pasta” section in my “Pasta 101” blog. Roll the dough out in a pasta machine to the “5” setting, I usually start at 1, then 3, then 5.
  • Lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the dough with egg wash. Along the front edge, pipe 1 teaspoon sized dots of filling, about 1 1/2-inches apart in a straight line.
  • Gently roll the dough and filling away from you, enclosing the filling completely. Using your fingers, gently seal the dough on the other side of the filling where the two layers meet. Gently pinch, with 2 fingers, between the dots of filling, keeping the filling tall in small “cylinders," and sealing the individual pieces.
  • With a fluted pastry cutting wheel, cut the long edge where the two layers meet, creating a long strip with a scalloped edge. Now, take the wheel and cut between the filling, cutting away from you, and causing the edges of each piece to crimp down, creating the true agnolotti shape.
  • Remove to a flour-dusted sheet until ready to cook. 
  • For a pasta course, I usually serve 5 agnolotti per serving. This batch will make many more than that. Agnolotti freeze well so place extra pieces on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they are frozen through, and transfer to ziplock bags.
  • To cook the pasta, fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil with 1 Tablespoon salt.  
  • Drop the agnolotti in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally. 
  • Plating Up
  • Strain the pasta, draining it well and reserve a few cups of the pasta water to adjust the sauce consistency later, if necessary.
  • Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce. Mix the pasta in with the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Thin the sauce with some of the reserved pasta water if necessary.
  • Top with the diced chicken thighs and freshly grated Pecorino cheese. Serve immediately.

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