Ricotta Agnolotti

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Making filled pasta at home is an absolute labor of love. The process can be a bit tedious and time-consuming, but learning how to fill and shape fresh pasta can be satisfying and deliciously rewarding. Out of all the filled pastas (ravioli, tortellini, cappelletti, etc.), the lesser-known agnolotti can be one of the easiest shapes to master at home. With a simple envelope-style fold and a rich cheesy filling, these ricotta agnolotti are a snap to form once you get into the groove of it. Try making ricotta agnolotti at home and instantly upgrade yourself from pasta novice to maestro!

Homemade Pasta Dough

The first step in learning to make homemade ricotta agnolotti is mastering the pasta dough itself. If you have never made homemade pasta dough before, try using this dough recipe to make a simple cut shape like fettuccine or pappardelle before graduating to more complicated shapes or filled pastas.

If you have never made fresh pasta dough before (or don’t have access to a pasta machine) and still want to try your hand at these ricotta agnolotti, look for fresh sheets of uncut pasta in the refrigerated section of your grocery store (sometimes labeled fresh lasagna sheets). With these store-bought pasta sheets, you can still make the delicious filling and learn how to shape the agnolotti.

If you have practiced homemade pasta dough before, you know how easily you can whip up a batch once you get the hang of it! Fresh pasta dough can be made using only two ingredients and a few simple steps:

  • Form a well: On a clean, smooth surface make a mound with all-purpose flour and form a well in the middle large enough to contain your eggs.
  • Mix in the eggs: Crack in room-temperature eggs and break the yolks with a fork. Scramble the eggs with the fork and slowly begin to incorporate the flour–careful not to break the well walls. If your eggs do spill out of the well, don’t panic! Just grab a bench scraper to scoop up the eggs and cut them into the flour. After all the flour is incorporated into the eggs, the dough will look dry and shaggy. Use a bench scraper to gather it all up into a rough ball.
  • Knead: Knead the dough by firmly pressing it away from you with the heels of your hands, then rotate the dough back towards you and press away with the heels of your hands again. While you work the dough, you can feel it begin to change. It will feel smoother and less dry as the eggs continue to absorb the flour and the gluten develops. Set a timer and knead the dough for 15 minutes.
  • Rest: After kneading, place the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover it with a damp paper or kitchen towel, making sure the towel does not touch the dough directly. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling and filling. Do not skip resting the dough or it could be difficult to roll out your pasta sheets.

How to Shape Ricotta Agnolotti

When it comes to shaping agnolotti, the technique is the same whether you use store-bought fresh pasta sheets or our recipe for homemade dough.

  1. Take one sheet of fresh pasta and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, paint a border of water around the edge of the pasta. Then, pipe a row of ricotta filling down the center of the pasta sheet.
  2. Fold over the dough to cover the filling. Press down firmly on the filling with your index finger at about 1″ intervals to create separate mounds. Press around each mound of filling to try to get any trapped air out. Then press down to seal the long end of the pasta.
  3. Using a ravioli or pastry wheel, trim the long end of the pasta to create a scalloped edge. Fold the long scalloped edge about halfway up and over the filling mounds, and press between each mound to seal.
  4. Cut between the mounds with the ravioli wheel to separate each individual agnolotto. Repeat with all the remaining pasta. Once formed, place the ricotta agnolotti on a lightly floured sheet tray until ready to cook and serve.

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Ricotta Agnolotti

Learn how to make and fill fresh pasta at home! With a simple envelope-style fold and a rich cheesy filling, these ricotta agnolotti are a snap to form once you get into the groove of it.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 pasta machine hand crank or stand mixer attachment
  • 1 bench scraper
  • 1 ravioli/pastry wheel* optional
  • 1 pizza wheel
  • 1 pastry bag or zip-top bag
  • 1 pastry brush
  • 1 whisk

Ingredients

Homemade Pasta Dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour plus extra for dusting and shaping
  • 4 large eggs room temp.

Ricotta Agnolotti Filling

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese** room temp.
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Parmigiano Butter Sauce

  • 1 3/4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano*** plus extra for serving
  • cracked black pepper for serving

Instructions

Homemade Pasta Dough

  • On a smooth, clean surface create a well with the all purpose flour large enough to contain the eggs.
  • Crack the room temperature eggs into the flour well and break the yolks with a fork. Using the fork, whisk the eggs. Then gradually begin to incorporate the flour from the well walls into the eggs while continuously whisking with the fork.
  • Use a bench scraper to scrape up the egg and flour to form a shaggy dough. Pat the dough into a rough ball. Knead the dough by pressing it away from you with the heels of your hands, then rotate the dough back towards you and press away with the heels of your hands again. Set a timer and knead like this for 15 minutes.
  • Once 15 minutes is up your dough should be silky smooth and spring back when you touch it. Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover it with a damp paper or kitchen towel, making sure the towel does not touch the dough directly. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling and filling. Do not skip resting your dough or it will be difficult to roll out. In the meantime, make the ricotta filling while the dough is resting.

Ricotta Filling

  • Add the whole milk ricotta,** parmigiano reggiano, nutmeg and salt to a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the filling into a pastry bag or into a zip top bag with the corner cut off. Secure the open end of the bag by twisting it and clipping it with a chip or binder clip.

Ricotta Agnolotti

  • Divide the pasta dough into quarters using the bench scraper. Cut each quarter in half again to make 8 balls of dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough in its resting bowl covered with the damp towel.
  • With your fingers, press the dough ball into a rough rectangle shape. Set the pasta machine to the largest setting (on a standard machine, level 1 is the largest). Feed the rectangle of dough through the machine, long-ways, using a dusting of flour if needed. Run the dough through the largest setting twice before adjusting down and rolling through each smaller setting. Work your way down to the second-to-the-smallest setting (level 6 or 7 on a standard machine), which will yield a long sheet of thin pasta dough.
  • Working on a lightly floured surface, use a pizza wheel to trim off the oval ends and cut the dough in half down the middle to make 2 shorter rectangles. Work with one rectangle at a time, keeping the other one on a lightly floured surface and covered loosely with a slightly damp paper or kitchen towel.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush a small amount of water on the edges of the pasta sheet. Pipe a long, thin line of filling down the center of the pasta sheet. Fold the pasta sheet over to cover the filling.
  • Press firmly with your fingers over the filling to create separate mounds, then press to seal the long end of the pasta. If needed, flour your fingers to prevent sticking to the dough while you press.
  • Use a ravioli wheel* to trim the long, sealed end of the pasta, creating a scalloped edge.
  • Fold the long, scalloped edge up and halfway over the filling.
  • Press again between the filling mounds to seal and use the ravioli wheel to cut between the filling, separating the agnolotti.
  • Transfer to a lightly floured sheet tray and repeat with the rest of the pasta dough until all of the agnolotti are shaped.
  • Once all the agnolotti have been formed, will your largest pasta pot with water, bring to a boil, and salt liberally. In the meantime, begin making the parmigiano butter sauce while the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking.
  • Gently drop the agnolotti into the water and boil for 3 minutes, until al dente. Depending on the size of your pot, you may want to do this in 2 batches. Drain and immediately toss in parmigiano butter sauce. Top with extra parmigiano reggiano and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Parmigiano Butter Sauce

  • In a small saucepan, bring the low sodium vegetable stock to a boil. Boil until the stock has reduced by half. When the stock has reduced, lower the heat to a simmer and whisk in 6 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Gradually whisk in the finely shredded parmigiano reggiano*** in batches. Simmer and whisk continuously until the mixture is emulsified. Immediately pour over pasta and toss to combine. Serve hot and top with extra shredded parmigiano reggiano and a grind of freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes

*A ravioli or pastry wheel is like a pizza wheel with a zig-zag edge that crimps and seals as it cuts. You can use a pizza wheel for cutting the agnolotti if you don’t have a ravioli wheel on hand. Just make sure you seal the dough well with your fingers before cutting as you won’t get the crimping and sealing benefits of the ravioli wheel. 
**Using whole milk ricotta cheese instead of part-skim ricotta will yield a thicker and less watery filling, but in a pinch part-skim works too. 
***Be sure to avoid pre-shredded parmigiano reggiano as it contains anti-caking agents that can prevent your sauce from homogenizing. For best results (and flavor) buy a whole wedge of parmigiano reggiano and finely shred it at home. 

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