A two-hour morning project ready for the freezer–ravioli, or to be more precise, agnolotti. Instead of using two pieces of dough, these filled pastas are made with one piece of dough folded over like little pillows in the style of Northern Italy’s Piemonte Region. Which is how I always make mine and what I still refer to as ravioli.
Several years after Hubby D and I were married my mother taught us how to make ravioli, from a recipe she learned from my Aunt D. Over the years I’ve refined that recipe to where I now consider it mine, using a food processor for various fillings and for a dough richer than the al one. One thing hasn’t changed though. I roll out my dough on a butcher block board instead of using one of those pasta machines as seen on many TV cooking shows. Actually, rolling out the dough used to be hubby’s contribution. but over the years it eventually trickled down to me.
As for the fillings, think leftovers. I’m open to any number of options. For example, just about any type of meat: salsiccia, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, ham, or lamb. For a tastier filling, combine any option with chopped garnishes such as spinach, celery, onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, basil, and/or parsley. And, of course, imported Italian cheese—I prefer Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano combined with the saltier Pecorino Romano. For special occasions, I like pears and gorgonzola cheese, prunes and walnuts, mushrooms and ricotta, plus sweet potatoes and amaretto cookies among others.
Depending on the filling, sauce can be anything from marinara, ragu, and ground meat to a creamy bechamel, butter and sage, or a simple broth that highlights the ravioli and saves a few calories.
Too complicated you say? No way. You can do this, sure you can. Just use your imagination and enjoy the results.