Anne Burrell’s Sausage and Ricotta Agnolotti with Burst Cherry Tomato and Pancetta Sauce is displayed, as seen on Worst Cooks in America, Season 23.
Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell

Agnolotti with Sausage and Ricotta Filling and Burst Cherry Tomato & Pancetta Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Active: 3 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings



Special equipment:
a pastry bag, pasta roller and fluted pasta wheel
  1. Put the flour onto a clean dry work surface. Make a hole (this is also called a well) in the center of the flour pile that is about 8 inches wide (bigger is definitely better here). Crack 5 eggs into the hole and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Using a fork, beat the eggs together with the olive oil and salt. Using the fork, begin to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture; be careful not to break the sides of the well or the egg mixture will run all over your board and you will have a big mess! Also, don't worry about the lumps. When enough flour has been incorporated into the egg mixture that it will not run all over the place when the sides of the well are broken, begin to use your hands to really get everything well combined. If the mixture is tight and dry, wet your hands and begin kneading with wet hands. When the mixture has really come together to a homogeneous mixture, THEN you can start kneading. When kneading, it is VERY important to put your body weight into it, get on top of the dough to really stretch it and not to tear the dough. Using the heels of your palms, roll the dough to create a very smooooooth, supple dough. When done the dough should look VERY smooth and feel almost velvety. Kneading will usually take from 8 to 10 minutes for an experienced kneader and 10 to 15 for an inexperienced kneader. Put your body weight into it, you need to knead! This is where the perfect, toothsome texture of your pasta is formed. Get in there and have fun! When the pasta has been kneaded to the perfect consistency, wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 1 hour. If using immediately, do not refrigerate.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, a pinch of crushed red pepper and kosher salt to taste. Saute the onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the sausage and break it up with a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until the sausage is browned. Add the sage and stir to combine, then deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until the wine has cooked off, 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down slightly.
  3. Add the ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan and the remaining egg into a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the sausage mixture into the ricotta and mix to combine. Scoop the ricotta and sausage mixture into a pastry bag and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saute pan and turn on the heat to low. Add the pancetta and gently cook to slowly render the fat, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered out, 10 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, a pinch of crushed red pepper and kosher salt to taste. Cook on a gentle simmer until the cherry tomatoes have softened and burst and the sauce has reduced, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock and continue to cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, another 5 or so minutes.
  5. Unwrap the pasta dough and cut off one third, keeping the larger piece covered. Using your hands, flatten the dough and sprinkle it with a little flour. Pass the dough through the pasta roller on the widest setting (mine is #1), then fold each end towards the center in thirds, like an envelope. Dust with more flour, then pass through the machine again. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times, folding the dough and flouring each time. Decrease the width to #2 and pass through the machine. Fold again and dust with flour. Continue to #3 and repeat, just folding and flouring once until you’ve reached #5. Lay the pasta sheet onto your board and arrange some basil leaves on one half of the sheet. Fold the dough in half to cover the basil leaves, dust with more flour, then pass through the machine one more time on the thinnest setting (mine is #6), so the basil leaves become part of the pasta dough sheet. Set aside and cover. Repeat with the remaining dough and basil leaves.
  6. Place the sheets of dough onto a floured surface. Lightly brush the lower half of each strip (the part closest to you) with water. Snip the corner off the pastry bag. Pipe 1-inch mounds of filling, 1 inch apart, onto the middle to lower half of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling to meet the bottom edge that’s brushed with water. Press around each ball of filling with your index fingers, making sure there are no air bubbles. Cut out the agnolotti using a fluted pasta wheel. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with semolina.
  7. Set up a large pot of boiling water and generously season with kosher salt. It should be as salty as the sea. Add the agnolotti and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked agnolotti directly from the boiling water into the sauce along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Toss to combine until the pasta is nicely coated. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, most of the sliced basil (leave a bit for garnish) and a big fat drizzle of nice extra-virgin olive oil and toss to combine.
  9. Plate, then garnish with more Parmesan and sliced basil.