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Agnolotti Filled With Pumpkin & Brown Butter


As featured on Food52.

Serves 4

For the dough:

  • 260g/9oz of Italian 00 flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 400g/14oz roasted pumpkin, skin off (approx. 750g/1lb 10oz of raw)
  • 100g/3½oz Parmesan, grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • For the sauce:
  • 80g/3oz butter
  • small handful of fresh sage leaves, picked

First make your pasta dough. Place the flour on a clean worktop or pastry board and shape it into a mound. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it.

Using a fork, break the eggs yolks and start to whisk them, drawing in the flour a little at the time. Continue to combine together with the fork, then when everything starts to come together, start to knead the dough. Use the heel of your hand and push away from you, using your other hand to turn the dough 90 degrees after each knead – you will soon develop a lovely rhythm. Continue to knead for 8–10 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth.

Now form the dough into a flat disc, as this will make it much easier to roll out later. Wrap it tightly in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight. Resting it makes the structure of the dough smoother and more pliable, so it’s much easier to roll out and shape.

To make the filling, start by halving the pumpkin and scraping out all the seeds and fibres from the centre, then chop into medium sized cubes and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure you mix with your hands to coat the pieces well, then roast at 180°C/350°F for 20–30 minutes, until soft. Set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle peel the skin.

In a big bowl combine together the chunks of roasted pumpkin, the Parmesan, nutmeg, zest of lemon and cinnamon, then season to taste. Mix well together until creamy. Refrigerate this mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Take your pasta dough, flatten the disc slightly and then roll it twice through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Fold the dough in half and roll from the thickest setting again, progressively reducing the setting as you go. When you reach the thinnest setting, lay out the rolled dough on your worktop. You may need to cut it into suitable lengths to fit the space you have to work in.

Now place a teaspoonful of pumpkin filling onto the dough, working down the length and leaving approximately 5cms/2in between each spoonful to allow space to seal the edges together.

Carefully brush the dough around the filling with water – if your pasta dough is still moist then you may not need to do this – just check the dough will stick together well.

Fold the dough over the filling, seal along the length first, then using the thumb and forefinger of both hands pinch the short side to seal firmly together. You don’t want any gaps where the filling can escape when the pasta is cooked in the rolling boiling water. Use a pasta cutter (or pastry cutter) to cut along the sealed lines you’ve just made.

Next, it’s time to cook the brown butter, the sauce you’ll toss the agnolotti in when they are cooked. Drop the butter into a wide, low pan and slowly melt it over a low heat. Cook until the butter is browned, then take it from the heat until you’ve cooked your pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil before adding the salt. Carefully tip the agnolotti into the water, return to the boil and cook for 2–3 minutes.

Put the brown butter back on the heat, add the sage leaves and finally the pasta, gently mixing it to ensure that all the pasta is coated in nutty brown butter. Serve straightaway with a generous grating of Parmesan over the top.