Welcome to the world of filled pastas! Part II of the Pasta Class series went over two signature pastas from flour+water: cappelletti and my personal favorite, agnolotti dal plin.
We started with the cappelletti – a hat-shaped pasta from Emilia-Romanga region. I had always wondered how they made this perfect little “hat” of pasta and what the difference was between cappelletti and the more household tortellini that most people are familiar with. Chef told us that the main difference was “the way in which you wrap and shape the pasta” – it’s crazy how the little intricacies like which direction your fold is, makes all the difference.
Chef showed us how to pipe filling into the centers of our cut-out circles of dough.
Then, folded it over into a half moon, and with the curve facing toward us, joined the two ends to seal, making it look like a “belly button” with no actual hole in the middle, unlike tortellini. That’s it! A perfect little hat sitting atop the counter.
Next up, agnolotti dal plin – an impressive little meat-filled pocket from the Piedmont region. This one is really special to me, it was this exact pasta that started my love for pasta and still remains my favorite one to make and eat. It’s the one dish I just have to get every time if it’s on the menu at flour+water. I’ve attempted to make these at home before, but had never figured out why they never looked right. Dal plin means “pinched” and all this time making these at home, I had been pinching..but it wasn’t until this class, when Chef made his walk-around to check in with us when he noticed something and said, “oh, you’re pinching the wrong way for dal plin“. He told me I was making agnolotti, but not agnolotti dal plin and showed me the correct way and seriously – pasta revelations! – I had finally learned how to make these the proper way.
This minor detail, made all the difference and alas, I had made the perfect agnolotti dal plin that I had always lusted after.
After pasta-making, Chef prepared a fresh “First of Spring” dinner for us of asparagus salad, the rutabaga cappelletti, agnolotti dal plin, a few more surprise pastas, and their signature chocolate budino for dessert.
This Pasta Class Series was more than I could’ve hoped for. From learning how to make pasta the correct way to a private dinner cooked by Chef Thomas McNaughton, the whole progression was just really well done. It really was a wonderful way to spend a couple Tuesdays a month and learn the little tricks that make all the difference.
Thanks to Chef and the whole flour+water team who made this such a memorable (and delicious!) experience Looking forward to more pasta classes in the future!
Read about Jessica’s experience at Pasta Class I here.