Pea, Bacon and Ricotta Agnolotti
With all my recent cheese making I always seem to have ricotta in the fridge, so I’m constantly looking for new recipes to try that involve ricotta. Personally I’m more of a savoury girl so I tend to overlook the dessert options. On my quest for new savoury recipes, pasta came up time and time again and I’m always a sucker for fresh pasta. This recipe is inspired by a foodie friend of mine at the Melbourne based food blog Italy on my Mind. Paola makes amazing homemade pasta and there are plenty of other inspiring Italian dishes on her blog to leave you drooling.
This recipe for agnolotti makes a nice change from ravioli or tortellini and they are actually easier to make, which means they are a good starting point for anyone who hasn’t made fresh pasta before. Make sure you find good eggs if you are going to make fresh pasta. My pasta is so orange because of the amazing fresh eggs I collect from my yard each day, it really does make a difference.
In this recipe I use both whole milk ricotta and whey ricotta. The whole milk is firmer so lends itself better to the filling and the creamy, whey ricotta is better for drizzling. It is not necessary to track down both if you are buying its just a great way to use up all my homemade stuff.
Pea, Bacon and Ricotta Agnolotti (serves 2)
For the Pasta:
100g Tipo 00 flour
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
For the Filling:
125g frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
50g finely chopped smoked bacon
25g grated Parmesan
seasoning to taste
50g frozen peas
chopped, fresh mint and basil
First make the pasta dough. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre of the flour. Put the egg and the egg yolk in the well in the flour and beat with a fork. Gradually incorporate the flour until it starts to form a dough then knead to make a soft elastic dough. Set aside in the fridge for half an hour while you make the filling. Depending on the size of your eggs, you may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky, or a little extra water or olive oil if the dough is too dry.
To make the filling, fry the bacon until crisp and set aside to cool. Put the peas in a bowl and blanch them with boiling water for a couple of minutes until defrosted then transfer to a mini food processor with the olive oil, mint and basil. Blend until pureed then transfer to a bowl with the ricotta, lemon juice, Parmesan and bacon. Stir gently to combine and season to taste.
To make the agnolotti, roll the pasta dough out to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine. Working in batches, cut out circles of dough using a 5cm cookie cutter. You have to work quite quickly to fill the pasta before it dries out too much, so I always find this is easier as a two man job, you can set up a bit of a production line then.
Place a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the pasta disc. Brush a little water around the edge of the pasta then fold in half to enclose the filling. Pinch shut to seal, making sure the pasta is firmly pressed together. I like to squeeze it flat to make the edge nice and thin. There’s nothing worse than fat pasta. Repeat until you run out of pasta or filling.
The pasta shapes can now be covered and kept in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. They’ll be fine in the fridge for a couple of hours as long as you dust them in flour or semolina so they don’t stick together. Alternatively they freeze well, and can be boiled from frozen to cook when ready.
When you are ready to cook them, boil a large pan of salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes until the pasta shapes rise to the surface and are cooked to your liking. I like mine al dente so 2 minutes is usually plenty.
To serve, it is also nice to cook some peas with the pasta, then sprinkle with chopped, fresh mint, basil, Parmesan and a little more ricotta if you have some. I also like a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.