In many ways, Italian and French food have a lot in common. Often wholesome family recipes are passed down from generation to generation.

Mushroom Agnolotti recipe

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 300g white mushrooms (or any edible wild mushroom)
  • 60g grated Parmesan
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 bunch chives
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper

For the pasta dough:

  • 500g white flour
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the rocket pesto:

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 20g toasted hazelnuts
  • 80g rocket
  • 30g grated Parmesan
  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To begin making the pasta, in a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt, olive oil and beaten eggs. Mix together by hand until you obtain an elastic dough, you might need to add a few tablespoons of water to help kneed properly.
  2. Wrap the dough in cling-film and rest overnight in the fridge.
  3. For the filling, wash and chop 3/4 of the mushrooms. Cut the remaining mushrooms into small cubes and leave aside in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add to this bowl the grated Parmesan, chopped walnuts, breadcrumbs and chopped chives.
  5. Chop the garlic and spring onion as finely as you possibly can before pan frying in olive oil.
  6. Add the chopped mushrooms and season. Once the mushrooms are cooked and have rendered all their water; deglaze with 3 tbsp. of cream.
  7. Mix the cooked mushrooms in a blender until you obtain a smooth purée. Once the purée has cooled down you can mix it into all the other ingredients. Set the filling aside for at least a couple of hours in the fridge before using.
  8. To finish off the pasta, take it out of the fridge and roll out the dough as finely as you possibly can; (it is much easier to use a pasta roller if you have one) the dough will fight you and bounce back but do continue until 2 millimetres thick. Cut out squares of 8 cm using a sharp knife. You are then ready to add 1/2 a tbsp. of filling in the centre of the squares. Brush a bit of water on the outskirts of the pasta sheets and fold over diagonally. You should obtain crossed top agnolotti. (see picture)
  9. Cook in boiling salted water for 4 minutes.
  10. For added flavour as well as making the plate look beautiful take a handful of mushrooms and cook in olive oil on a very heated pan to get some colour on them. After a few minutes reduce the heat and add a tsp of butter and chopped garlic.
  11. In a blender add all the ingredients for the pesto and blitz until smooth.
  12. Scatter the golden mushrooms and dot the pesto across the plate.

I have always loved making fresh pasta – the colour, texture and flavour are simply incomparable to dry pasta. I find fresh pasta is best served with simple, authentic ingredients that are full of flavour; such as mushrooms. You could use any kind of wild mushroom that takes your fancy. However, seeing as cèpes are in season I just can’t resist using them in this recipe.

It is not an easy task to pair bold, earthy mushrooms to wine, but the ones I have chosen are real crowd pleasers. The 2014 Sauvignon de Touraine, Jean-Christophe Mandard is perky enough not to be overpowered by this dish. This is a serious white, yet so affordable.

If you prefer something richer and bolder to suit this “meat-like” dish I suggest a red Burgundy. The 2011 Maranges, from David Moreau has enough texture and length to be paired with this authentic family recipe.

For even more profound depth of flavour a Merlot-dominated wine such as a 2009 Chateau Laroque Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé could elevate this simple dish to gourmet standard.

Wines to drink with Mushroom Agnolotti by Michel Roux Jr.

Jean-Christophe Mandard, Sauvignon de Touraine, 2014 – This expressive white has aromatic flavours of grapefruit and tangy gooseberry. With some grassy notes on the nose, it really compliments the earthiness of the mushrooms.
RRP: £9.19 The Drinks Shop

Marranges, David Moreau, 2011 – A thick textured Burgundy that is perfect for the meatiness of the dish from the mushrooms. There is a warmth and spiciness that is just wonderful on a chillier autumn evening paired with a hearty autumn dish such as this.
RRP £19.50 Berry Brothers and Rudd

Château Laroque Saint-Émilion, Grand Cru Classé, 2009 – This wine has an almost truffly complexity and deep in flavour which works beautifully against the strong and rich flavours of the mushrooms.
RRP: £28.99 Waitrose Cellar