Published on 25 October 2019
We’ve maxed-out on carbonara and quite possibly reached peak cacio e pepe – what’s on the pasta-obsession horizon? Could agnolotti del plin be the next big thing?
They definitely look the part. Hailing from Piedmont, they’re at once rustic and a little showy. Typically finished with a pinked frilled edge they’re filled with all manner of meat or vegetables. Historically, leftover roasts were a favourite stuffing, but you’re also likely to find cuts of beef and pork suited to slow-cooking (let’s hear it for whole-animal eating), as well as veal and rabbit. Herbs and wine are usually added to the braise for flavour. Vegetable fillings might include pumpkin, mushrooms or even cabbage. Fontina, being a cheese from the north, is also common. Sauces are usually simple, not much more than the braising liquid from the meat or, in the case of vegetable versions, some brown butter and crisp sage.
“Del plin” refers to the pinching motion you make with your fingers when you seal each parcel of pasta. A serrated pasta cutter is used to create that delicious frilled edge.
It’s no mean feat to make these guys; they’re something of a special occasion pasta among the Piedmontese. But Melbourne’s restaurants are here to do the heavy lifting (or delicate pinching) for you.
At Rosetta the chefs prepare a trad-leaning version filled with rabbit, veal and pork, with burnt butter and sage sauce to finish. The filling in Park Street Pasta and Wine’s agnolotti is veal and Gippsland rabbit, while at Carlton’s Capitano, the vegetarian take sees brown butter-roasted pumpkin agnolotti topped with ricotta salata, more brown butter and toasted pepitas.
In Windsor Tipico has been known to offer both vegetarian and meaty options, with chef Daniele Colombo changing up the filling according to the season. Over winter, it was a mix of That’s Amore buffalo ricotta, porcini mushrooms, truffle paste and Grana Padano. More porcini is used in the sauce, along with onion and fresh thyme and white wine.
“I love agnolotti because you can recreate or customise it with modern flair without taking away the history behind it,” says co-owner Andrea Da Como.
What’s better than ordering a plate of agnolotti del plin at one of these establishments? Finding yourself at Di Stasio Città on the day they’re offering the dish as a special. The kitchen makes a rich yellow-hued pasta that’s enhanced by a butter sauce. You know what to do.
Verdict: Thing – pinched pasta for all.
Find it at:
Capitano, 421 Rathdowne St, Carlton, capitano.com.au
Di Stasio Città, 45 Spring St, Melbourne, distasio.com.au
Park Street Pasta and Wine, 268 Park St, South Melbourne
Rosetta, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, crownmelbourne.com.au
Tipico, 242 High St, Windsor, tipico.melbourne
By Emma Breheny