Agnoletti is a ravioli traditionally made in Piemonte that is filled with a mixture of meat, spinach and cheese. For mine, I went with a ground beef filling, but you could use ground pork, ground turkey, or if you want to be more authentic, ground veal or rabbit. With such a simple filling, you can really do anything as far as a sauce goes. Marinara sauce works wonderfully, as would a light alfredo sauce. However, to be true to tradition, I made a sauce from the pan drippings after browning the meat. Similar to a gravy, the sauce is just beef broth, butter, and a little flour, but packs quite a punch of flavor. This is a time consuming recipe, but totally worth it. Enjoy!
Makes approx. 30 ravioli
For the filling:
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon garlic
5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
For the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons flour
Begin by making the filling so that it has time to cool before you fill the ravioli. Add the beef and garlic to a skillet and brown the beef. Break the beef up well as it cooks. Don’t worry if some of the beef caramelizes on the bottom of the plan. It will make for a wonderful sauce later!
In a large bowl, combine the beef with the spinach, cheese and egg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the pan that the beef cooked in to later make the sauce.
To make the dough, whisk together the flour and salt on a clean counter top or on a large cutting board. Gently mix the eggs in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs to the well.
Use a fork to gently mix the flour into the eggs until you have a homogeneous mixture. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until no longer sticky. Divide into two dough balls. Wrap one in plastic while working with the other.
Using a pasta roller, roll out the dough until nearly translucent (setting 6 on a KitchenAid).
Cut off the edges of the sheet so that it is about 5 inches high. Place 1/2 tablespoon size balls of filling along the bottom half of the sheet about 2 inches apart. Fold the top half of the past sheet down over the filling. Pinch the dough around each ball of filling to completely seal each raviolo. Cut down the center between each ball of filling to produce the ravioli. Place on a baking sheet and dust with flour until ready to cook. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. While waiting for the water to boil, make the sauce.
To make the sauce, reheat the pan that the beef was browned in over medium heat. Once hot, deglaze with the beef broth, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Add flour to get sauce to desired thickness.
Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli and cook about 4-6 minutes until al dente. Drain and serve with the sauce and sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese.
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