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What is agnolotti?

Agnolotti ("priest hats") are stuffed, fresh pasta from the Piedmont region. Agnolotti are traditionally made by folding small, thinly rolled rounds of pasta dough over fillings into a half-moon (or rectangular) shape, and crimping the edges to seal.

Italian food historians say that the differences between agnolotti and its close cousin ravioli were once more marked. Agnolotti, made in the richer, carnivorous northern regions of Italy, were stuffed with meat; the poorer central and coastal regions stuffed their ravioli with cheese, fish and vegetables.

But the lines have blurred since World War II, and like ravioli, agnolotti may be filled with cheese, meat or vegetables, and spices (particularly nutmeg). In Turin, every cook has their own version, and fillings often depend on what leftover ingredients -- braised beef, roast pork, calves brains, veal -- the cook has on hand. Agnolotti can be gently poached, pan-fried in butter, added to broth to make soup, or served with a sauce.
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