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I and Marika woke up very early this morning. We wanted to get to the local cheese artisan before he finished his delicious ricotta cheese.
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While the fresh ricotta was being made just in front of us, we were both mouthwatering at the idea of making our favorite Agnolotti pasta, stuffed with ricotta and Parma ham.
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If you ever come to Puglia, you will be surprised by the fact that we look like a whole region of vegetarian people: we eat lots of vegetables (eggplants, artichokes, bell peppers, zucchini), legumes (chickpeas, fava beans) and cereals (wheat, faro/spelt etc).
Moreover, all traditional pasta from Puglia: orecchiette (which means little ears), tagliatelle, trofie, sagne…is made with NO EGGS! Just water, a pinch of salt and durum wheat flour (or barley flour).
Everybody attending our cooking classes is always impressed by how diverse, Italian culinary traditions can be from region to region. This applies to the fresh pasta: which is without eggs in Southern Italy; and with eggs in Northern Italy. However, when we come to agnolotti, ravioli or lasagne, also in Puglia we use eggs.
Ricotta and Parma ham are the best combination for the stuffed pasta! You can make different shapes using different cutters: squared ravioli or the round agnolotti. For the filling, instead of the Parma ham, you can also use asparagus or spinach, or a mix of fresh herbs if you prefer.
Please try and tell us what you think.
Agnolotti stuffed with ricotta and Parma ham.
200 grams durum wheat flour (you can use all purpose flour)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Stuffing and dressing:
150 grams Ricotta cheese
100 grams Parma ham
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
100 grams grated Parmesan cheese (good quality)
a pinch of grated nutmeg
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Put the flour in a bowl with the two eggs and the extra virgin olive oil. Knead the dough until it gets very smooth.
Cut the dough in little balls and using the pasta machine, stretch out the dough in very thin sheets of pasta.
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Cut the Parma ham in very small strips and mix it with the ricotta using a spoon.
Using a teaspoon, place some ricotta and Parma ham on the pasta sheet (in the middle), and fold it.
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Cut the stuffed pasta using a pasta cutter and close it with your fingers.
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It is important you cook these stuffed agnolotti right away. Boil the water in a pan adding a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (so that they don’t stick). Add a tsp of sea salt and cook the pasta for 5 minutes.
Remove the pasta al dente and sauté in a saucepan with a few drops of olive oil and the sage leaves, for 2 minutes.
Serve adding the grated parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
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