Monday, June 25, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 25... Valle d'Aosta

Fontina cheese, with it's buttery flavor and fine melting texture, is the beloved cheese of the Piedmont region and is made in Valle d'Aosta. This area is also known for its hearty soups, meat stews, gnocchi and polenta, enriched with fontina cheese, of course. Just like in the Piedmont, the people of this are work hard, but like to take the time to eat and drink well. Agnolotti is often found as the highlight of their meals. Wonton wrappers are often used by restaurants in place of home made dough for convenience and they are usually always topped with shavings of white truffles.

Agnolotti With Fontina Sage Butter

2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1 large egg
84 wonton wrappers
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage 

  1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and pork; saute until brown, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted and liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Cool.
  2. Finely chop mixture in processor. Tranfer to medium bowl. Mix in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.
  3. Lightly flour baking sheet. Arrange 12 wonton wrappers on work surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling in center of each. Brush edges with water. Fold each wrapper in half, forming triangle. Press edges together. Using 2-inch diameter ruffled cookie cutter, cut edges to form half-moon shape. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.).
  4. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add sage; keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, working in batches, cook agnolotti in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer agnolotti to shallow soup bowls. Spoon sage butter over and serve.

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