Anolini with Ricotta and Hazelnuts (Serves 4)

Anolini with Ricotta and Hazelnuts (Serves 4)

Filling

8 ounces / 230 g ricotta di buffala

1/2 cup / 45 g grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

2 ounces / 60 g coarsely ground hazelnuts, plus more (optional) for garnish

1 tablespoon plain dried bread crumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt (see Note)

Pasta

Espresso Pasta Dough (recipe follows)

Semolina flour, for dusting

Sauce

10 tablespoons / 150 g salted butter, cut into cubes

15 fresh sage leaves

1.            Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, ground hazelnuts, bread crumbs, and salt. Mix gently and set aside.

2.            Scatter semolina flour all over a work surface. Spread out a pasta sheet, then place small balls (about the size of a hazelnut) of the ricotta filling on the pasta dough, about 1 inch / 2.5 cm apart.

3.            Fold the sheet of pasta in half to cover the filling, gently pushing around each filling mound with your fingers to seal and remove any air bubbles. There should be no air in the anolini, otherwise they may open during cooking.

4.            Cut the pasta using an anolini pasta stamp, so that in the center of each anolino there is just one ball of filling. Dust a large baking sheet with semolina flour. Transfer to the baking sheet and continue until you use up all the pasta dough.

5.            Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat. Drop the anolini into the boiling water and stir gently. Cook until they float on the surface, about 2 minutes

6.            Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a 12- to 14-inch / 30 to 35 cm sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Add the sage leaves and cook until the leaves are golden, about 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and shake the pan vigorously to thicken the sauce.

7.            Scoop out the anolini with a slotted spoon and transfer to the butter and sage pan over medium heat. Toss gently so the pasta gets coated with the sauce.

8.            Transfer to serving plates and scatter Parmesan cheese and chopped hazelnuts (if using) on top.

Note: It’s important that the mixture be on the saltier side.

Anolini with Ricotta and Hazelnuts (Serves 4)

Espresso Pasta Dough

Serves 4

6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon / 95 ml water

1 teaspoon / 7 g ground coffee powder (we use Colombian coffee for its strong flavor)

1 2/3 cups / 200 g semolina flour

Rice flour, for dusting

1.            In a small bowl, stir together the water and coffee until dissolved. Mound the flour in the center of a work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the coffee mixture. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour starting with the inner sides of the well.

2.            When the dough begins to come together, start kneading using just the palms of your hands with a back and forth motion (the joke is that you should always be able to answer the phone while making pasta!). Use a dough scraper to scrape off any bits around the pasta dough to tidy your work surface, as dried-out dough will interfere with your pasta making. The dough is ready when it is elastic and the surface gently “comes back to you” when you press, 15 to 30 minutes. 

3.            Place the dough in the coolest part of your kitchen in a large bowl and cover with a lid, a cotton cloth, or a plate. Set aside for 1 hour. (You can also prepare the dough the day before, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Make sure to bring the dough back to room temperature before rolling.)

4.            When ready to roll out the dough, dust a work surface and rolling pin lightly with rice flour. Cut off a piece of dough (the equivalent of a handful), press with the palm of your hand onto the work surface, and roll out with the rolling pin to about 1/2 inch / 1.25 cm thick. Set a pasta machine to its thickest setting and roll the pasta dough through it. Switch the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Continue switching the settings lower and lower, until you get a smooth and perfectly thin sheet of pasta. Repeat with the remaining dough. The pasta will be fine at room temperature for up to 30 minutes, but if you’re cooking later, cover the pasta with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. You can also freeze individual portions for up to 2 to 3 months, making sure they are well wrapped up.

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