The Piedmontese Christmas menu: first courses
Il nonno travestito da Babbo Natale

We continue on our way to the Piedmontese Christmas lunch. In this article I tell you about the first course. If you missed the previous chapter, you can find it here: The Christmas lunch, the appetizers

Agnolotti: the dish of the festive days

First courses are important throughout Italy. There is no region that does not boast its first traditional, the one that makes you feel the feast.

In Piedmont the tajarin are a delicious dish, which can be enriched with truffle slices and boasts versions with “18 yolks”.

But today I want to tell you about the recipe of agnolotti (‘r raviore) with “sugo”, that is with meat sauce!

Let’s start then, fasten your apron, we leave for the first course of our Christmas Lunch.

Grandma checks the cooking

The agnolotti at Christmas are almost an obligatory dish!

A traditional Piedmontese Christmas menu can be challenging. A Food Tour? Tempting!

Alba Food & Wine Tour

Experience an authentic itinerant lunch through the streets of Alba through its food and wine specialties!

Choose the daily or weekend formula.

2 days and 1 night, Half Day

Let’s prepare ragù (the “sauce” in native language!)

– 0,66 lb of vegetables for the fried (onion, carrot, celery)
– 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
– 0,88 lb of beef
– 0,44 lb of pork
– a glass of red wine
– salt – pepper – half teaspoon of sugar
– Tomato passata
Brown the fried in oil. If desired, add a sprig of rosemary and a bay leaf.

When the fry is well withered, add the two pieces of meat, salt and pepper. Let it brown on all sides. Add the red wine and let it consume. When the meat is tender (try it with a toothpick or better press it with a spoon), remove it from the pan. Chop it with the crescent moon. It must be fine but not “minced”.

Put it back in the pan and restart the fire. Add the sauce diluted with a little warm water and continue cooking for another hour at least. Fire to minimum. Pan covered.

Ragù sauce for agnolotti

Let’s move on to the stuffing of the agnolotti

– 0,77 lb CALF MEAT
– 1/2 L BROTH (I do it with vegetable nut)
– 2 ONIONS chopped
– 2 EGGS
– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– salt, pepper, nutmeg
– 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Chop the onion and fry it in oil. Brown the meat and wet it with the broth and cook it for a couple of hours. Boil the cabbage. When it is cooked, mince the meat and cabbage with a half moon or better with a meat grinder-robot.

Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the Parmesan cheese and eggs. Mix everything together.

Pasta for agnolotti

The agnolotti pasta has only 2 simple ingredients: Eggs and flour. A few tablespoons of water if necessary during the dough.

The proportion is 1 egg every 0,264 lb of flour.

The dough must be elastic and very thin. At home we used to pull it with the machine and not with a rolling pin. And then we used RAVIOLAMP! What a turning point when it entered our house. The creation of the agnolotti, square, beautiful, all the same had created a sort of wow effect! I leave you a little explanatory video: How to use raviolamp

You just have to compose the agnolotti.

In the video you see how to use the Raviolamp. Otherwise, after rolling out the dough, create the strips of agnolotti with your beautiful piles of filling and after folding the dough, cut each agnolotto with a small wheel.

Cook them in plenty of salted water and dress them with the very hot meat sauce. A generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese will finish everything!

the Raviolamp
Piedmontese Agnolotti
A wine tasting in the Langhe could be a beautiful gift to celebrate Christmas!

Wines to go with your first courses?

To serve with your agnolotti, a robust and very tasty dish, I recommend a nice Barbera d’Alba or a Barbera d’Asti. I also love Grignolino and  you should taste it!

Already full? 

Do you know what has been cooking for hours on the stove? I will wait for you next week with the second course.


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