Feb 23,2007 00:00
For young Swedish apprentice chef Staffan Terje, the decision was a no-brainer. During a cold, dark,
That was nearly 20 years ago, and Terje has yet to return. After extensive work at some of
AGNOLOTTI DAL PLIN - Agnolotti dal Plin is a very traditional Italian dish, says chef Staffan Terje. It consists of cabbage, parmesan cheese and bits of meat wrapped up in a pasta dough. CNS Photo. STAFFAN TERJE - Staffan Terje's passion for fine Italian food led him to open Perbacco, his first fine dining restaurant, in
AGNOLOTTI DAL PLIN - Agnolotti dal Plin is a very traditional Italian dish, says chef Staffan Terje. It consists of cabbage, parmesan cheese and bits of meat wrapped up in a pasta dough. CNS Photo.
STAFFAN TERJE - Staffan Terje's passion for fine Italian food led him to open Perbacco, his first fine dining restaurant, in
Terje's passion developed at Piatti. "We were doing some of the most authentic Italian food in the area," he said. "Being in
On Saturday mornings you can find Terje at
Agnolotti dal Plin is a traditional Italian Piemontese dish, Terje said. "It is basically cabbage, parmesan cheese and bits of meat wrapped up in a pasta dough."
Perbacco's savory Agnolotti dal Plin was picked by the San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Bauer for his "Personal Pasta Hall of Fame."
This dish has ancient roots, suggests Terje. "There's a story that there was a fierce ancient battle in
Terje says you can make the pasta dough using a food processor or a mixer with kneading attachment.
Perbacco's Sommelier Mauro Cirilli suggests an affordable and easy-to-find Peter Paul 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35). "This wine is of medium weight and very well-balanced," explains Cirilli, "And it really allows the flavors of the Agnolotti to shine, without overpowering its rich flavors."
Peter Paul Winery was established as the Grove Street Winery in Healdsburg in
AGNOLOTTI DAL PLIN
3 cups Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, plus 5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only
2 pounds roasted veal shoulder or breast, chopped in food processor
2 cups savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup reduced veal or beef broth
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Yields 8 servings.
To prepare pasta dough: Sift together and then mound 3 cups flour in center of large wooden cutting board. Make well in middle of flour and add eggs. Using fork, beat eggs and begin to incorporate flour, starting with inner rim of well.
Push flour up from base of mound to retain well shape. Dough will come together when 1/2 the flour is incorporated.
Knead dough with both hands, using palms, about 15 minutes, adding any remaining flour to create a cohesive mass. Remove dough from board, scrape off and discard leftover bits. Lightly flour board and knead, 6 minutes. Dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap dough in plastic and allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
To prepare filling: In 12-inch saucepan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and rosemary, cook until garlic is light golden, about 5 minutes. Add veal, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let meat begin to caramelize.
In suitable pot, melt remaining butter. Add cabbage and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until very tender. Chop in food processor until almost smooth.
Let veal cool to room temperature, then place in large mixing bowl. Stir in cheese, cabbage, broth, nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Use wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Set aside.
Cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Wrap 2 pieces in plastic and set aside. On lightly floured work surface, use floured rolling pin to roll out dough to 1/8-inch (or use pasta machine on thinnest setting).
Lay pasta sheet on lightly floured surface with long edge facing you. Trim edges straight. Using tablespoon, scoop equal spoonfuls of filling and place along bottom 1/2 of pasta, leaving 1 1/2-inch border at bottom and sides; each dollop of filling should be about 1 1/2-inches away from the next. Pull top edge of pasta over filling. Dough should form 1 large pocket over filling. Seal agnolotti by gently molding pasta over filling and pressing lightly with index finger to seal edge of dough. (Don't drag finger along dough to seal, or you risk tearing dough.) When sealed, there should be about 1/2-inch of excess dough visible along bottom of filling mounds. Be certain to seal tightly while pressing out any air pockets. Seal left and right ends of dough.
To shape agnolotti: Starting at 1 end of dough, place thumb and forefinger of each hand together as if to pinch something and, leaving about 1-inch of space between hands and holding fingers vertically, pinch filling in 1-inch increments, making about 3/4-inch of "pinched" area between each pocket of filling. It is important to leave this much "pinched" area between the agnolotti, or when the agnolotti are separated, they can come unsealed.
Run sharp knife or crimped pastry wheel along bottom edge of dough, separating strip of filled pockets from remainder of pasta sheet. Don't cut too close to the filling, or you risk breaking seal.
Separate individual agnolotti by cutting center of each pinched area, rolling pastry wheel away from you. Working quickly, place agnolotti on baking sheet dusted with thin layer of cornmeal to help prevent sticking. Don't let agnolotti touch each other. Repeat with 2 remaining dough balls until entire bowl of filling has been used. Let shaped agnolotti rest for 24 minutes.
Bring 6 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Place agnolotti into water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes total. Drain well and toss with sauce or ragu of your choice, or a combination of beef broth and butter. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.
© Copley News Service