Sweet pea agnolotti with yuzu ricotta

Agnolotti are one of those pasta shapes that can be particularly tricky to assemble. If your filling is really wet, then the pasta sheets will start to warp and stick to whatever surface they are on, causing the delicate little folds you are attempting to make to come undone and the dough itself to tear as you try to transport the agnolotti to a pot of boiling water. I find that a huge help, especially when making agnolotti with a ricotta-based filling, is using a cheesecloth or patting the ricotta dry with several layers of paper towels. Either step is necessary, as without doing that, the above will almost certainly happen to you. Besides the above potential mishap, these little dumplings are very fun to make! And they just look like little pillows, which is always a pleasant surprise!

For the components, we have an herb-infused pasta dough stuffed with a yuzu ricotta and pea mixture, garnished with mint and peas that are cooked in an anchovy brown butter. There is a lot of umami and fresh notes with this dish, which is always welcomed with a hearty bowl of pasta! The ricotta itself is made directly from infusing yuzu juice into cream and milk, and the leftover whey is actually used to help seal the pasta dough itself, just so it does not go to whey-ste! See what I did there? I’ll escort myself off the premises now.

Makes 14+ agnolotti:
For the ricotta:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp yuzu juice
a pinch of salt

Heat up the milk and cream until they begin to simmer. Add in the yuzu juice and salt and stir, on low heat, for another 5 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth to strain out the ricotta curds, squeezing as much whey(the liquid) as possible. Reserve that whey liquid for the poached garlic, peas, the dough, and the sauce!

For the poached garlic:
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
reserved whey
a pinch of salt

Poach the garlic in the whey for 5 minutes, or until dark yellow and tender to the touch. Mince finely into a paste. Stir in a little bit of salt. Reserve the whey for the peas, pasta, and brown butter.

For the poached peas:
1 cup peas
reserved whey, after the garlic was poached in it
ice

Blanch the peas in the whey for at least 3 minutes, or until bright green. Place your peas into ice water. Reserve the whey for assembling the pasta with and to emulsify into the brown butter.

For the pasta dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp whey water + more for assembly
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup mint leaves, stems removed
Pasta filling*

Mix flour, egg, olive oil, whey, and salt to form your dough. Roll out your dough on a floured surface until thin enough to roll through a pasta roller. Roll through the pasta roller, dusting the dough with flour, on each setting until you get to the 2nd thinnest. Place the mint leaves on half of the dough and then fold the dough over to seal the mint leaves inside. Re-roll the dough on the 2nd thinnest setting. Pipe your filling in 1/2-inch by 1/4 inch rectangles along the middle of the dough, lengthwise, keeping each rectangle at least 2 inches apart. Brush the exposed surface of the dough with the whey water before folding the dough over and pressing to seal the dough around the fillings. Make sure you press tightly as you want to remove all air pockets! With the flat areas between the mounds of filling, fold those together and pinch tightly to form creases on either side of the filling. Cut down the centers of those creases to crease your individual agnolotti. Keep on a floured surface until time to boil. Boil in heavily salted water for 2 minutes before finishing in the brown butter for another 1 minute.

For the pasta filling:
1/2 cup poached peas
poached garlic
yuzu ricotta
a pinch of salt
6 mint leaves, minced finely
2 tbsp grated parmesan
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper

Mash the peas and garlic together first. Fold all of your ingredients together to form your filling. Place into a piping bag.

For the brown butter:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 tspn anchovy paste
3 tbsp whey
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup poached peas
Cooked agnolotti*

Heat up the butter until it begins to turn an amber brown. Saute off the mint leaves first until crispy, then remove the leaves, leaving them to drain on a paper towel. Mix into the butter your anchovy paste and the whey first, just to emulsify the residual brown butter into a sauce. Mix into that the salt and poached peas. Finally, add in the agnolotti and toss together.

To plate:
Crisped up mint leaves
Edible flowers

Place down the agnolotti first, about 7 to a plate. Garnish with the peas, the mint leaves you crisped up in the brown butter, and finally, edible flowers. I went with bachelor’s buttons, but whatever you have on hand works!

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