Chef Alessandro Gavagna stuffs these little pasta parcels (like tortellini) with creamy burrata cheese and fresh mint, before serving serving with a fragrant pesto and classic tomato sauce.

Agnolotti with burrata and mint

Chef: Alessandro Gavagna

Cooking time: 90 minutes, plus resting/hanging time

Serves: 4

Course: Starter

Skill level: Medium

Ingredients:

For the pasta:

  • 500g of flour 00, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g of butter, softened
  • 150g of water, cold
  • 300g of burrata, chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves

For the pesto:

  • 200g of sclopit (or basil)
  • 70g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g of aged Montasio cheese (or other hard Italian cheese), grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the tomato sauce:

  • 250g of San Marzano tomatoes
  • Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 50 g of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. To make the pasta dough, place the flour on a clean work surface in a mound. Make a well in the centre and pour in the cold water and add the softened butter. Start mixing in to the flour until a dough starts to form, then knead until it becomes smooth and elastic
  2. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, roll out thinly on a floured surface and cut out discs using an 8cm cutter (you will want at least 3 per person for a starter)
  3. Place a spoonful of burrata and half a mint leaf into the centre of each disc, then fold the pasta over to enclose the filling and create a semi-circle. Seal the edges by squeezing together, making sure to push out any trapped air
  4. Draw the two pointed ends together and press firmly to seal (this is similar to a tortellini shape). Reserve in the fridge until ready to cook
  5. To make the pesto, wash and clean the sclopit or basil, then pat dry with kitchen towel. Blitx in a blender with the oil, cheese and some seasoning
  6. For the tomato sauce, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds, then refresh in iced water. Peel the skins, cut in half and scoop out the seeds, then add to a blender and blitz until smooth. Place in a muslin cloth and hang over a bowl for about an hour to drain all the excess liquid
  7. Add the drained tomatoes to a saucepan with a little olive oil and some fresh basil leaves and seasoning. Cook through for 10-15 minutes
  8. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the agnolotti for 3 minutes, then drain
  9. Serve the agnolotti with a little tomato sauce spooned onto each, a smear of the pesto and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a few shavings of Montasio cheese

Recipe courtesy of chef Alessandro Gavagna. Launching soon Great Italian Chefs showcases the best culinary talent that Italy has to offer. Visit Great Italian Chefs for more recipes and features for Italy’s most exciting chefs.

The wine

A cut above your everyday pasta; the delicacy of flavours, the care and precision in the sauce all points towards Decanter recommending crisp, dry Italian white wines such as Verdicchio, Arneis or a a Friuli Pinot Grigio.

The herbs and the tomato sauce will also allow light, red wines with medium to low tannin, which can be found from the Montepulciano grape, Dolcetto from Piedmont and Valpolicello from the Veneto – Harry Fawkes, Decanter.com