Braised Beef Agnolotti
by Nicola & Fabrizio Carro, Chefs, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Miami, Florida
Agnolotti are squared-shaped pasta; in this recipe, they’re folded over with a slowly braised beef filling. This is one of the most beloved meat-filled pasta recipes in northern Italy—especially in the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy.
- 1 pound Certified Piedmontese flank steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 carrots
- 1 bottle red wine (such as Barbera)
- 1 egg
- 4 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh egg pasta sheets
Preheat oven to 300°F.
In a Dutch oven or heavy, ovenproof pot over moderately high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion and carrot until vegetables are lightly browned. Move the vegetables to the side of the pot to make room for the flank steak. Add the flank steak and brown on each side. Add red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 to 1½ hours, until the flank steak pulls apart easily with a fork.
Let cool down. Pull the meat from the liquid and set aside. Strain the vegetables from the liquid, reserving the liquid in a sauce pan. Cut off one fifth of the cooked flank steak and reserve for the sauce. Cut the remaining flank steak into cubes and transfer to a food processor. Pulse the meat until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and combine with egg, half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out fresh pasta dough in long, rectangular sheets about 6 inches wide. (Keep the rest of the dough covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.) Dab a teaspoon of meat filling at 2½-inch intervals lengthwise down one side of the dough. Brush egg wash around each teaspoon of meat filling to help seal the pasta. Turn the side of the pasta sheet without filling on top of the other half. Using a dough-cutter wheel, trim off the dough along the three sides (but do not trim the folded side). Cut in between each dab of meat filling using the cutter wheel, forming squares. Seal each one well with your fingers. Lay them out on a tray and continue this procedure, preparing as many agnolotti the dough and filling will allow.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the agnolotti, being careful not to crowd the pot. Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, stirring very gently.
Simmer the braising liquid in the saucepan until desired consistency, add the reserved beef and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the agnolotti topped with the warm meat sauce and sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano.