View this email in your browser

Set tummy to rumble

This week we’re exploring filled-pasta for the first time with a recipe for goat's cheese, ricotta and honey agnolotti with tomatoes and olives. Beautiful pasta parcels full of creamy deliciousness.

We always want these recipes to deliver something that is super tasty yet easily achievable at home. While today’s recipe is definitely achievable - the filling is easy and doesn’t require any cooking - it’s slightly more technical and requires a pasta machine.

Hang in there.

I promise, if there was a chef’s register I’d be struck off for this recipe. It’s diabolical.

This week’s album: 
Last Night in The Bittersweet by Paolo Nutini

Another friend recommendation, this album is the first new music from Nutini for eight years. I immediately marked the track ‘Acid Eyes’ as a must-listen and it really lived up to its billing. ‘Through The Echoes’ and ‘Radio’ are also top tier.

P-e-monte not P-ed-mont

Agnolotti are a pasta shape from Piedmont - proper pronunciation above - a Northern region of Italy. They are one of the simplest forms of filled-pasta to make.

The most famous recipe is for ‘Agnolotti del Plin’ which are stuffed with meat and served in a meat broth. We’re going veggie instead (with a filling of goat’s cheese, ricotta and honey) but I mention that dish as it signals how we'll shape the pasta.

‘Plin’ means ‘pinch’ and refers to the pinching of the pasta dough on either side of the filling. This creates the shape and locks in the filling.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a dish served at a restaurant where I trained (fear not, I’ve simplified things).

The sauce we made was called tomato essence - a clear golden liquid extracted from cherry tomatoes at the peak of summer. While it’s truly incredible, it takes 36 hours to make and costs a small fortune i.e. we’ll skip that.

The filling, however, is exactly the same. Wonderfully fragrant goat’s cheese is seasoned with lemon and honey, then paired with ricotta which mellows the dish. This filling is always a crowd-pleaser as it’s so fresh and tasty.

We’ll serve the dish with a butter emulsion, black olives, some basil, and raw cherry tomatoes to maintain the filling’s freshness. I’m using Taggiasca olives (a prized variety from Liguria) but Kalamata would be good too and what we used in the restaurant.

At Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (a very French restaurant where I learnt this dish), we used a French cheese called Mothais-sur-Feuille (above). It’s difficult to find, hence why I’ve suggested using a soft creamy goat’s cheese.

What you need

The below serves 4. It takes 60 mins to prep and 5 mins to cook.

300g ‘00’ flour
3 whole eggs
Sea salt
200g polenta or semolina
120g soft goat’s cheese (rind removed)
60g parmesan (finely grated)
150g ricotta
1 small pinch of cayenne pepper
40g honey (best quality)
Sea salt & black pepper
200g cherry tomatoes
50g unsalted butter
10g basil (cut into julienne)
30g parmesan (finely grated)

Ready, steady, cook

1. We'll start with the pasta… Add the flour to a work surface and make a well. Crack the eggs into the well and add a pinch of sea salt. Use a fork to break the eggs and gently beat them. Slowly incorporate the flour, bit by bit, until everything starts to come together.

Use your hands to knead the dough for about 10 mins. The dough is ready when it’s smooth all the way through and has some ‘spring’ to it when you poke it. Flatten into a disc, wrap tightly in clingfilm, and leave to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins (or ideally overnight). The resting time will create a smoother, more pliable dough.

NOTE: if the above sounds like a faff, add the flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Blend until a rough dough forms. Remove from the food processor and knead for 2 mins before wrapping in cling film.

2. To make the filling, add the goat's cheese to a mixing bowl and beat with a spatula until smooth. Now add in the parmesan, ricotta, cayenne pepper, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until fully combined. Put into a piping bag. Transfer to the fridge until needed.

3. Once rested, unwrap the pasta dough. Cut it in half and pass the first piece through the lowest setting of a pasta machine. Fold one third of the dough back onto itself, then do the same from the other end. You should end up with the dough in three layers.

Turn the dough through 90 degrees, squash the layers down slightly and pass through the widest setting of the machine. Dust lightly with flour and pass it through the widest setting one more time. Now start to work your way down through the settings, passing through each setting twice, until you reach the final setting. Repeat for the second piece.

TIP: you may not need to but, where required, dust with a little flour as you go. Try not to add too much flour as the more you add, the drier the dough becomes. You just need some flour so things don’t stick to the work surface.

4. Once the pasta has been rolled into sheets, lay them out on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Pipe a 1cm-thick line of the filling along the length of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling to enclose it.

Use the side of your thumb to press along the dough where the two edges have joined. The idea is to create a smooth tube of filling and press down enough so that the thickness of the pasta is reduced from two sheets into one.
5. Use your forefinger and thumb on each hand to pinch the dough at regular 2cm intervals. This creates little parcels of filling separated by squeezed-together dough.
6. Use a sharp knife to cut along the length of the dough and to remove a strip from the top so that about 1.5cm of dough is left. Cut between the parcels then pinch the ends to ensure the filling is properly enclosed. Transfer the agnolotti to a tray sprinkled with polenta/semolina and refrigerate until needed.
7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. While that happens, slice the tomatoes and olives in half and add to a bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper.

8. Add the agnolotti to the boiling water and bring back to a rapid simmer. Cook for 3 mins. Meanwhile, gently heat the butter in a frying pan with half a ladle of pasta cooking water. Stir until an emulsion forms. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the agnolotti into the emulsion. Add the basil, tomatoes and olives. Mix well.

9. Transfer everything to warmed plates and finish with a generous sprinkle of finely grated parmesan.
Final thought

You can make the agnolotti a few hours ahead of time and leave them on a tray with polenta/semolina.

Any leftover agnolotti can be frozen. Just freeze on the tray with polenta/semolina and, once solid, transfer to freezer bags. When you want them, defrost in the fridge for a few hours on a tray lined with baking parchment.

Speak next week.


Painting a pretty picture? 

Tag your dishes with #eatmywordslondon, or hit reply to this email with a photo.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp