If you happened to stumble in a traditional restaurant in Turin or the surrounding region of Piedmont, you might already tried these strange looking Ravioli, or Agnolotti del Plin as the locals named them 2 centuries ago.
The word “Plin” in the local Piemonteis dialect simply means pinch, which implies that their unique shape is due to their superior pinching method, unlike other traditional pinching traditions of filled pasta of inferior regions along the Po Valley or even worse such as: Squared Ravioli, Mezzaluna, Orecchioni, Tortellini or Tortelloni. However, if you’ll ask around in any of those lower regions do not be surprised if you’ll get the opposite idea of who’s Tortelli are better. They are just all wrong, and the Ravioli del Plin are the best.
We hereby present you with our own original interpretation of the traditional Agnolotti del Plin in a vegan version that is inspired by local wild plants from around this beautiful region. All of the ingredients in our recipe are native to the region of Piedmont, which makes these vegan Ravioli the real Plin.
Ingredients for the dough
Ingredients for the filling
- In a large bowl mix all of the dough ingredients and knead the dough for roughly 5 minutes or until it reaches a firm yet smooth texture. Let the ready dough rest in the fridge while we continue to make the filling.
- If the borage has pretty flowers on it remove them and keep them for decoration. Dry seeds could be left or thrown away, as you prefer.
- In a tall cooking pot with boiling water cook the wild borage (stems, leaves and ugly flowers) for about 10 minutes, until the stems are softer to eat.
- Strain the borage out of the cooking pot and onto a cutting board, but keep the water for cooking the pasta.
- In wide frying pan fry slightly the onion and the whole garlic cloves with olive oil. While frying, chop roughly the cooked borage and add it into the frying vegetables. Keep frying while steering for about 5 more minutes.
- Pour the cooked vegetables to a tall blending dish, adding the hazelnuts, some salt and nutmeg. Grind all of the filling ingredients with a stick blender until you get a creamy green paste.
- On a clean working surface (we use the counter top) sprinkle generously a layer of durum wheat flour. Take out of the fridge half of the cold pasta dough, and flatten it by hand on the working surface. Sprinkle it with an extra layer of the flour.
- Using a pasta maker machine, roll out the floured dough, starting from the thickest width setting to a thin one. It does not need to result in the thinnest possible, just until it folds easily on your fingers without breaking.
In our KitchenAid pasta roller attachment we use the adjusting numbers from 1 to 6. In the and thickest width it is recommended to pass the dough the rolling machine at least twice, and then carefully through each consecutive thinner setting, so that the dough would not break.
If the total length is too long for handling, you can cut it in half, remembering at which number it passed so far.
If some of the dough sticks and folds over itself, just fold that part and pass it through again from the thickest width.
- Lay the flat pasta sheets stretched over the working surface.
- Using a pastry bag, a decorating syringe or 2 small tea spoons, pour cherry sized portions of the filling along a row, distant from each other and from the edge of the pasta sheet at about your thumb width.
- Fold carefully the larger clean half of the pasta sheet as a tight blanket over the row of filling balls, and tighten it lightly along the overlapping edges of dough. Pinch together horizontally from the surface the edges of the dough on the sides of each filling ball along the row. Tighten again the dough along the long edge to seal it.
- Using a large bladed, sharp and smooth knife or the traditional waved dough roller cutter, cut away the unfilled edge of pasta dough along the row and any excess dough from both sides of the row. Keep this leftover dough for rolling it again later on through the pasta maker machine.
- Cut to separate each of the ravioli, starting from the back of the pinched side and over to the overlapped long edge of the row. Roll the chunky ravioli over in the same direction of cutting, to wrap them with the flapping edge of the pasta dough.
- Bring the water in the tall cooking pot back to boil. Then toss the ravioli into the water and cook them for a couple of minutes, and strain them out when the ravioli are floating on top and ready for eating.