I have this vicious love/hate relationship with homemade filled pastas. Sometimes they are the best things I've ever made. Heavenly, ethereal, delicious pockets of amazingness. Sometimes the dough tears, it sticks, it bursts while boiling, and I end up with a measly 6 raviolis salvaged from the entire batch I made; the rest sadly goes into the trash. There is no in between. Days when I make filled pastas always result in either elation or fury.
These little guys were no different. The first day I tried to make them for this blog ended with me in bed, rolled up in a ball, trying to fall asleep as fast as possible in the hopes that it would make the next day get here faster. The next day when I tried again, nothing went wrong. They were perfect.
I think this dynamic relationship with stuffed pasta comes from the fact that I'll make them a few times a year, but with enough time in between that I always forget the little tips and tricks to make it a smooth process. I succumb to pitfalls that are easily avoided, simply because I have forgotten! So my dear readers, this post is not only for you, but for me as well.
I recommend getting an empty (and clean!) spray bottle and filling it with water. If at any point your dough starts getting dry, a few spritzes will liven it up again without drowning it in water.
I like smaller, more delicate agnolottis, so I use about 1 teaspoon of filling per piece. You can definitely make larger ones and use 1 tablespoon of filling per piece as well.
Serves 4 to 5.
For the dough:
14 oz 00 flour (or all-purpose)
4 large eggs
1 tsp olive oil
For the filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb mushrooms of your choice (I used a mix of cremini and portobello), small to medium dice
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated parmesan, packed
1/4 cup grated pecorino, packed
1/2 cup mascarpone
sauce of your choice (I used a garlic parmesan broth whisked with some butter)
fresh herbs such as sage and parsley
freshly grated parmesan
For the dough:
On a clean counter, create a mound with your flour and dig a well in the center. Crack eggs and add oil to the well. Using your fingers, break up the yolks and start drawing in flour in a swirling motion. Keep drawing in more flour until the dough becomes difficult to mix with your fingers. Taking a pastry scraper, form the dough into a ball. It will be very shaggy at this point. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too dry when you are kneading, spray it with a little water, if it's too sticky, sprinkle it with a little flour.
Cover dough with a clean bowl and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
For the filling:
Pour olive oil into a large stainless steel pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add white wine and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes until evaporated. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a food processor and pulse for a minute or two. The mixture should be finely processed, but not so much that it's completely smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, add parmesan, pecorino, and mascarpone. Stir to combine.
Separate dough into quarters. Take one quarter and re-cover the rest with the bowl (do not roll out all of the quarters at once! Unless you work lightning fast, the other pasta sheets will dry out before you get to filling them). Flatten the dough out a bit, lightly flour it, and take it through the lowest setting in your pasta maker. Fold the dough into thirds, like you're folding a piece of paper to put in an envelope, and take it through the lowest setting once more. Take the dough through successive settings on your pasta maker, flouring when needed, until you get to the highest (thinnest) setting.
Cut your pasta sheet in half, it will make it easier to work with so you don't have one super long sheet. Taking your filling, pipe teaspoonful dollops down the middle (but slightly to one side) of the pasta sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch between each dollop. Brush some water around the filling and fold the pasta over, using the side that the filling is not on. Pinch the pasta where there is no filling to separate each piece, making sure to get rid of any air bubbles. Taking a pasta cutter, trim the dough lengthwise to get rid of any excess. Then cut across each pinch to create individual agnolottis. Take each agnolotti and squeeze the ends to make sure they are sealed properly. Place finished agnolotti on a well floured section of your counter (or a well floured parchment paper lined baking sheet).
Repeat the pasta rolling, filling, and cutting with the other three pieces of dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently boil the agnolotti for 5 to 7 minutes. Top with sauce, herbs, and freshly grated cheese, and enjoy!
If not using all of the pasta the same day, freeze them in one layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then transfer the frozen agnolottis to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to one month.