We’ve done this dance once before, but I saw enough potential in the agnolotti method that I simply had to give it another go with different ingredients. Specifically, something with more protein. I also thought that this attempt would be a good time to knock out another ratio from Ratio. With this post I have currently used 7 out of 31 ratios. For anyone trying to keep count here’s what I’ve done so far: fritters, pasta, pie dough, sponge cake, brine, mayo, mousseline.
Chicken mousseline is typically made with the dark meat, but I decided to chance it with chicken breast meat this time. For the record, it worked out just fine.
Detailed recipes at the end as always, but the pictures may help. That’s why you read this blog isn’t it?
The base ratio for mousseline is straightforward, but more of a guideline than anything else: 8 parts meat, 4 parts cream, 1 part egg. In this particular application, it is more like 8 parts meat, 4 parts cream, and 2 parts egg. Or if you feel like reducing to the lowest common denominator, 4 parts meat, 2 parts cream, 1 part egg.
I pretty much winged things from here, armed only with the ratios to guide me. This is probably the most “chef like” thing I’ve done actually.
I used half and half instead of cream without any deleterious effects. So here we have 4 ounces of half and half, 8 ounces of diced chicken breast, an egg, and kosher salt, of which I started out using a half teaspoon.
All ingredients but the cream are added to the food processor.
And pulsed to get this mash like substance. Pretty yes?
Then with the processor running fairly high, I dripped the half and half through the handy tiny hole in the top of the food processor lid until the end result was this.
Ruhlman recommends you drop a teaspoonful into 180 degree F water for 5-10 minutes to taste test for flavor. I have things to do so I just microwaved it on medium heat for about twenty seconds, let it cool, then tasted it. I was pleasant enough in a boring innocuous way, so I figured much doctoring was called for.
More salt, the tops of four green onions from the backyard, a tablespoon of dried parsley and a healthy shake of cayenne were added and processed in.
Better! Still a bit light, but I didn’t want to mess with it too much, so I made a note to make a really kicking sauce to compliment the light and subtle chicken mousseline.
Scoop out the processor into a bowl and cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use, up to a day. Which is what I did.
Day 2! Time to make pasta. You’ve seen this before so I won’t go too much into detail here.
Now on to the assembly of the agnolotti.
I’ve attempted to use cheaper wax paper here instead of parchment. Doesn’t work as well, and I needed to generously flour it quite a bit for it to be even slightly close to the convenience of parchment. Lessons for the future.
Cut the funky ends off the pasta for another use so you have a nice rectangular sheet. Optional: Hang pieces of pasta haphazardly over your workplace for ambiance.
Pipe a line of chicken mousseline just off center, like so, then brush the sheet with egg wash.
Fold over and press the pasta sheet down.
And with well floured fingers, press the filling into their own 1 inch sections. Use more egg wash on the last bit of exposed pasta dough.
Fold over again.
Reinforce the sheets with more pressing between the agnolotti sections. If necessary, cut off extra pasta. Slice between each one with a sharp knife.
Note: Don’t do this. Or if you must, use a ton of flour. I had a heck of a time taking these apart. Freeze them on a sheet separately or use them right away. Or keep them out in a mess on the table until you’re ready to use them. Really, just don’t do this.
I still had a bit of mousseline left, so I decided to taste test it again by pan frying it in a little bit of oil.
A lovely little nugget, with a slightly sweet characteristic with a mild herby touch. Yeah, definitely need a spicy sauce to set it off.
Oh look a spicy sauce! Make one, use it. I think it was Henry Hill that said making tomato sauce is like making love, you do it a little differently each time and it is always good. I really mixed things up this time, and it was great.
Reasonable approximation of what I did this time included at the end.*
When you’re ready to make the agnolotti, feel relieved, you are almost there. I included some of the butternut agnolotti that I had frozen from last time. See those pieces with the gaping holes in them? Yeah, those turned into perfectly pleasant pasta pieces without any butternut filling in them. Freeze your agnolotti carefully folks.
Drop agnolotti into boiling water, about 8 at a time, and boil for 3-4 minutes.
Scoop out and drain, then plate.
Top with red sauce, impress guests.
Here’s a shot of the inside. And an outdated boombox . Don’t mind that. The chunky, well seasoned, and heavily cayenne spiked red sauce perfectly set off the mildly flavored agnolotti.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I had extra pasta dough, so I just turned it into fettuccine.
It was divinely silky and took to the red sauce beautifully, the smooth yet textured surface being a wonderful sauce transport method. Fresh pasta is amazing.
Recipes featured in this post:
Agnolotti stuffed with Chicken Mousseline:
- Pasta dough, rolled out into thin sheets, at least 4 inches wide (see below)
- Chicken Mousseline (see below)
- 1 egg
- Beat egg with a tablespoon of water
- Cut pasta dough sheets into manageable lengths, about two feet is good.
- Place on well floured surface, preferably on top of parchment paper.
- Pipe chicken mousseline down the length of the pasta sheet, just ever so slightly off center.
- Brush egg wash along center.
- Fold pasta over the filling.
- Using floured fingers, press down along the filling to make 1 inch partitions across the whole of the pasta.
- Brush the remaining pasta dough with egg wash.
- Carefully fold the filled part over again onto the rest of the sheet, and press down between the increments again to create a good seal.
- Use right away, flour very well for use soon, or freeze for later use, being sure to flour well and keep the agnolotti separate from one another for the initial freezing. Preferably on parchment paper.
- 6 oz. of eggs – 3 Large eggs
- 9 oz. of flour.
Make a large mound out of the flour and make a well at the top. Crack eggs into the well and break them up with your fingers, and slowly work the flour in until the whole becomes a large shaggy mass. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until velvety smooth, adding flour if it becomes too sticky. Roll dough into a disc, wrap with plastic, and allow it to rest for at least ten minutes. Place in refrigerator if you can’t use it within an hour.
Food Processor method:
Place eggs and flour into food processor. Pulse several times until flour and eggs comes together into a shaggy mass. Dump or scrape out the dough onto well floured surface. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until velvety smooth. Roll dough into a disc, wrap with plastic, and allow it to rest for at least ten minutes. Place in refrigerator if you can’t use it within an hour.
- 8 oz. boneless chicken meat
- 1 large egg (2 oz.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 4 oz. cream
- 4 green onions, chopped (top parts only is fine)
- teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Tablespoon dried parsley
- Put eggs, salt, chicken meat into a food processor, pulse until well combined.
- With the food processor on, add cream slowly until the mixture is light and foamy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, process to combine.
- Poach (or if lazy, carefully microwave) a teaspoon of the mixture and taste test, adjusting seasoning if necessary.
*This week’s improvised Spicy Red Sauce, many measurements approximate:
- 28 oz canned diced tomato
- 1/2 large or one medium onion, diced
- 5-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (+more to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup half and half or cream
- 1/2 cup of vodka
- Splash of wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- In a heavy bottomed pot, sweat onions in olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat, then add garlic, and cook some more, being careful not to brown.
- Add in salt and pepper, crumble in the spices and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the juice from the canned tomatoes to the pot and simmer the mixture briefly.
- Add the diced tomatoes.
- Optionally splash white wine into your cans to get the last of that tomato goodness into your pot.
- Add half and half or cream, vodka, and sugar if using. Simmer to ideal consistency, roughly 20-30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning for salt and cayenne pepper. ( I added a lot more cayenne)
- Serve with your favorite pasta.