Michael White, Fiammo executive chef, prepared these delicious Italian favorites inspired by Torino.
• Agnolotti del Plin
Agnolotti del Plin is a typical Piemontese pasta ravioli dish. They are eaten in the Langhe and Roero areas with truffles when in season, but are delicious without. Agnolotti del Plin (literally "pinched agnolotti) are filled with meat and are tossed with a little melted butter and parmigiano cheese.
Ingredients for the filling:
(Serves 4 to 6)
1 lb. veal
1 lb. pork
½ lb. turkey breast
½ lb. grated parmigiano cheese
1 glass red wine
2 handfuls rice ( 5 oz)
2 cups chicken stock
1 large onion
2 cups of spinach
Nutmeg (freshly ground)
Salt and pepper
Method for the filling:
Sauté chopped onion with a touch of rosemary until browned. Add the meats and sear on a medium high heat. Season to taste with salt. Add wine and reduce then add stock and rice.
Cover and roast on low flame for one and a half to two hours. Add more water if necessary. Reserve the pan drippings. Blanch the spinach. When tender add in the spinach, mince the meat by hand or with a food processor. if using be careful not to make to smooth.
Mix in nutmeg, salt and pepper, and Parmigiano cheese.
1 lb. white flour (00 grade in Italian flour)
Pinch of salt
Method for pasta:
On a marble work surface, make a pile of the flour with a "well" in the middle. Add a pinch of salt and the eggs. Knead the ingredients together to create a smooth pasta about 20 minutes. Roll out to a paper thin. Cut into two large strips. Roll out two strips of dough.
In one strip, spoon small uniform balls of filling every 1 inch to 1 1/4 inches apart. Cover the filling strip with the top strip of pasta. Pat closed the two strips and seal them around each filling with the fingers. Cut apart with a zig-zag cutting wheel. Pinch each agnolotti closed.
Bring a pot of salted water or broth to a boil and add in the agnolotti. Skim them off as they rise to surface. Place them in a pan with melted butter. Serve with Parmigiano and plenty of shaved black or white truffles.
• Fonduta al Formaggio
Robiola Cheese with Soft Polenta and Fonduta
(Makes 4 servings)
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons truffle oil or white truffle paste
3 cups water
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal or instant polenta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1[1/2] cups heavy cream
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into chunks
6 large egg yolks
3/4 ounce white truffles
In a medium-size bowl, blend the robiola and goat cheeses with 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil or paste until smooth. Roll the mixture into 4 equal balls and refrigerate it while preparing the remaining ingredients.
In a large saucepan, add a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Slowly add the cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Continue to slowly simmer for 1 hour, stirring continuously. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (For instant polenta, cook according to the package instructions.)
Heat the cream and fontina in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until the fontina is melted.
Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolks, beating constantly, then return the pan to medium heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of truffle oil or truffle paste and keep warm over a low heat.
If cooking this ahead, put 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter on the surface of the fonduta to keep a skin from forming and set it over a pan of simmering water.
Place each ball of robiola in a soup bowl. Ladle on the hot polenta, pour the fonduta over this, top with shaved white truffles, if using, and serve.