My oh my, we have a good one for you today! The kind of dish that, as you eat it, you are basically silent aside from an occasional comment about how delicious the meal is, and are wistfully sad the moment you finish eating it. What meal? Well, a plate of home made agnolotti, filled with creamy goats cheese and moorish broad beans. It may not sound like the most traditional Italian filling for pasta, but don’t let that stop you for making this beauty!
If you’ve not made a filled pasta before, this one really is the perfect filled pasta to start with. First – it is hot dang delicious! But, more importantly, both the filling and the sauce are really simple and clean, featuring only a small handful of fresh beautiful produce, and come together so quickly and easily. Plus agnolotti is a deceptively easy pasta shape to make – no complicated techniques and no special cutters needed here, just a small knife and your hands!
To make the agnolotti, we made a batch of our favourite, fresh egg pasta (you can see our recipe for fresh egg pasta here). Equally though, you can quite easily buy sheets of fresh egg pasta from markets and delis, and that would also work perfectly in the recipe.
The filling for the agnolotti comes together so easily. It’s as simple as blitzing together blanched, de-podded broad beans, some silky and mild goats cheese, and zingy lemon zest, to form a kind of cheesy pesto-like textured paste. This filling really just screams of spring – beautifully fresh and seasonal broad beans, paired with creamy, tangy and sweet goats cheese and bright lemon. So simple, fresh and delicious.
With a lick of egg wash to act as a sealant, and a bit of folding, squishing and slicing, the agnolotti are formed. They cook in mere minutes in a pot of boiling salted water, and we tossed them through a simple fresh sauce of olive oil, tomato, sage and garlic, and (to really gild the lily) served the agnolotti with a light sprinkling of parmesan.
I can’t recommend enough trying your hand at this dish. Our recipe is enough for two generous mains or four lovely starters. Despite goats cheese and broad beans maybe not being immediately associated with Italian cooking, these agnolotti are utterly, melt in your mouth delicious, and eating the agnolotti transported me to a warm spring night in Italy. With this rather wintery weather we’ve been having in Melbourne of late, this agnolotti is the perfect dish to remind you that spring is (somewhere!) around the corner!
- 3 long (about one metre) sheets of fresh pasta (you will find our recipe for fresh pasta embedded in our recipe for rabbit and pine mushroom pasta)
- 120 g fresh, mild goats cheese
- 250 g broad beans, blanched in boiling water, outer pods removed
- 1 lemon, zest and juice of
- Freshly grated black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large tomato, quartered, stem and seeds removed, then diced in 5 mm dice
- 5 sage leaves, finely sliced
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- If you are making your own pasta sheets, follow our recipe in our post on 'rabbit and pine mushroom pasta' to make the fresh pasta sheets.
- Once your pasta sheets are prepared, make the agnolotti filling, by pulsing the podded broad beans, goats cheese, lemon zest (keep the juice for later in this recipe), and generous amounts of black pepper and salt in a food processor or blender. What you want is a filling that is mostly smooth, but with some small bits of the broad beans still distinguishable from the cheese. So pulse the filling and check on it, until it is almost smooth but still with some small bits of broad bean. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- On a clean, floured surface, lay out one of the three sheets of pasta. Using either a spoon and your clean fingers, or a piping bag fitted with a wide nozzle, place one third of the cheese and broad been filling in a smooth, thin line down the middle (longways) of the sheet of pasta. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the sheet of past with beaten egg. Roll one of the long edges of the pasta over the filling onto the other long edge of the pasta. Press your finger down along the edge to seal it. Use the tips and side of your fingers to pinch the tube of pasta into square sized individual agnolotti, ensuring that you press down enough between each agnolotti to seal the edges of the agnolotti. Use a small knife to separate each agnolotti into individual agnolotti. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling.
- At this point the agnolotti can be kept in a fridge for a few hours until you're ready to eat.
- When ready to eat - place a large saucepan filled with salted water onto one one stovetop flame, and a large heavy based frying pan over another flame. Once the water is boiling, carefully place the agnolotti in the water and cook (this only takes a few minutes). Once cooked, use a large slotted spoon to carefully remove the agnolotti from the water onto a large plate.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce by warming the olive oil in the frying pan, over a medium-high heat. Once the olive oil is warm, place the diced tomato in the pan and saute quickly for a minute or so. Add the sage and garlic and continue to saute for another minute until fragrant. Finish the sauce by adding in the lemon juice and butter and allowing to melt through the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the agnolotti to lightly coat each agnolotti. Serve immediately, with a little grated parmesan.