Ricotta Truffle Agnolotti with Porcini Butter Sauce
I visited the Piemonte region for the first time last December and was blown away by the food: from vitello tonnato to tajarin al tartufo, from beef cheeks cooked in Barolo to that heavenly drink, bicerin. It was all so rich and decadent.
Since I love all things filled pasta, agnolotti del plin really stole the show for me. In Piemontese, “plin” can be translated to “pinch,” because the shape is formed by pinching together the dough. Agnolotti are traditionally made with a filling of roasted meat, and served in a sauce made from the leftover meat juices.
This recipe came about because I wanted to pay homage to the richness of the traditional recipe, without spending hours roasting meat. This dish can also be made vegetarian by omitting the beef broth and using extra liquid from the porcini. Serves two hungry people!
Ricotta & Truffle Agnolotti with Porcini Butter Sauce
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
For the pasta dough:
200 grams 00 flour
2 large eggs
For the filling:
250 grams ricotta
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (or a mix of both), finely grated
1 teaspoon truffle oil (or grated fresh truffle)
Salt and pepper
For the sauce:
20 grams dried porcini mushrooms
1 small shallot, finely diced
½ cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
To make the pasta dough:
Tip the flour out onto a clean work surface or pasta board. Make a well in the center and crack in the eggs. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, then slowly incorporate the flour until a rough dough is formed.
Use your hands to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with an overturned bowl, or place in an air-tight container to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the filling:
Prepare the filling by mixing together the ricotta, Parmigiano or Pecorino, and truffle oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
To form the agnolotti:
Take one quarter of the pasta dough and pass it through a pasta machine from the thickest to the thinnest setting (you can also do this with a rolling pin if you are a master at la sfoglia). Divide the sheet in half lengthwise so you have two long narrow sheets.
Place half teaspoon-sized blobs of filling, about 2 centimeters apart from each other, along the bottom half of the sheet, leaving a 2-centimeter border of dough at the bottom and sides.
Take the bottom edge of pasta and fold it up and over the filling to meet the top edge. Press along the length of pasta to seal the dough, then pinch the dough together between each blob of filling, ensuring you get rid of any air bubbles.
Trim the long edge of the pasta with a frilled pasta wheel, then cut between each “pinch,” starting from the bottom edge and cutting away from you. You should now have little sealed parcels.
Place the agnolotti on a surface dusted with fine semolina or flour and continue with the remaining dough and filling until it is all used up.
To make the sauce:
Soak the dried porcini in a small bowl of hot water for at least 15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the finely diced shallot and cook for around 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Drain the porcini, reserving the liquid, then roughly chop and add to the pan with the shallots.
Add about ½ cup of the reserved porcini liquid and ½ cup of beef broth. Simmer over medium heat for around 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by at least half. Add the butter and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the agnolotti in a large pot of boiling salted water for around 3 minutes, until they rise to the surface. Drain the agnolotti well, then add to the pan with the porcini sauce, gently tossing to coat the pasta. Serve immediately.