Saturday, April 2, 2011

Agnolotti with Taleggio and Marjoram

I have never made pasta at home before. One of the main reasons is because I don't have a pasta machine to roll out the dough. So I have a confession:

I cheated.

I made pasta with fresh lasagne noodles instead of making the dough myself. It saved me a lot of time (and money), but the pasta was still very tasty.

Taleggio is a semi-soft cheese that melts well. I had never tried it before, but to me it's like mozzarella with the tang of blue cheese. Others have described it having a fruity tang. Whoever thought to pair taleggio and marjoram together was absolutely brilliant. They match each other so well; the marjoram has a nice citrus flavor that helps cut the saltiness of the taleggio. Add them together in pasta: WOW!

This recipe doesn't take more than a couple of hours, depending on how fast you work, but these freeze really well, so make extra for later. You won't regret it!

Agnolotti with Taleggio and Marjoram

6 oz. taleggio cheese
3 tbsp finely chopped marjoram
3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Cut rind off of cheese and cut into small cubes (roughly 3/8 in square). Chop marjoram.

2. Lay a fresh lasagne sheet flat. If wider than 6 inches, cut in half lengthwise. Place 6-8 cubes of cheese along one side of the pasta strip, spacing evenly. Sprinkle a little marjoram over each cube.

3. Using your finger, rub a little water around each cube of cheese, then fold the strip of pasta over. Squish cheese down, without tearing pasta, if needed. Gently press fingertips around each piece of cheese, pushing the air out.

4. Using half of a 2-in round cookie cutter, cut around each cube to make a half-moon shape. The straight edge should be the folded side. Squeeze edges together to make sure they stick.

5. Lay out flat on a cookie sheet while you finish with the others.

6. Cook in salted, boiling water for 5-6 minutes until al dente. Melt butter in a saucepan and drizzle over cooked pasta. Serve with some more chopped marjoram and freshly grated parmesan cheese.


*This recipe makes about 50 agnolotti and I cooked half, which was enough for 4 people as a side. If you want to serve this as a main dish, cook all of them.
** To freeze, keep as a single layer on the cookie sheet and put in freezer for an hour. Put frozen pastas in a freezer bag. To cook, just add to boiling water as above.


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