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What is Agnolotti Pasta?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Agnolotti pasta is a type of pasta normally stuffed, roughly similar in size to ravioli and tortellini. The Piedmont region of Italy is well known for their many agnolotti recipes. Today the pasta is becoming increasingly more popular in the US, with numerous famous chefs suggesting agnolotti dishes and fillings.

Some agnolotti pasta are square or rectangular in shape, while others form a half moon circle. Instead of taking two layers of pasta dough, adding filling and then cutting them all around to produce square ravioli, agnolotti are simply folded over. You’ll notice one side is smooth, while the other sides, or half if the pasta is circular are pinched together. They may be cut on each side with a serrated knife or pizza cutter to give a lacy look to the pasta, or they can be pressed with a fork, much resembling pie crust edges.

Since agnolotti pasta must be folded, many of the versions you’ll see are made by hand and can be a little more expensive than pasta made via the ravioli method. On the other hand, it can be worth the extra expense for fresh pasta made of delicate pasta dough. Fillings can vary, and some agnolotti are merely folded and not filled. These might be added to soups or simply prepared with any Italian sauce of your choosing.

Though traditional agnolotti might be prepared with a little ricotta cheese, or leftover meats, modern chefs have come up with some wonderful fillings. Cafferata, the San Francisco pasta company formed in 1886, makes agnolotti with a delicious winter squash filling. Agnolotti pasta stuffed with crab or lobster meat is excellent, and leftover chicken can make a great choice. Vegetarians can use a variety of vegetables for either sweet or savory fillings.

To top agnolotti pasta, consider marinara sauces for red meat fillings, or Alfredo, marinara or meat sauce for those filled with cheese. Agnolotti with lobster or crab is excellent served with an Alfredo or Mornay sauce. Agnolotti can also form the basis for delicious pasta salads and can be excellent served cold in garlic vinaigrette.

The name agnolotti, means "priest’s hat," which does suggest that the crescent shape agnolotti pasta is more traditional than the square or rectangular type. Really, for most cooks, it’s merely up to personal preference as to what shape you’d like to make or serve. Whatever the shape, the pasta is likely to be delicious.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By CaithnessCC — On Jun 01, 2011

@sunshined - I think you'd have to make your own if you want it to be made from whole grain flour. I don't usually eat white flour products at all but I make an exception for agnolotti.

I have adapted some favorite mushroom pasta recipes to make a wonderful sauce, and always make sure to balance the dish with lots of vegetables on the side. It can be a bit heavy otherwise, I find.

By sunshined — On May 31, 2011

I have never tasted a pasta I did not like, and we usually have some kind of pasta dish at least once a week. I have been trying to go with more of the pasta whole grain choices. I don't usually have any trouble finding the whole grain in most of the pasta I buy.

I don't know if they have the agnolotti pasta in whole grain or not, but it sounds like a wonderful one to try either way. Next time I see that on the menu somewhere I am going to have to give it a try. The squash filling really sounds good for something different.

By andee — On May 31, 2011

While traveling in New York we stopped at an Italian restaurant and I had my first taste of agnolotti filled pasta. I love every kind of pasta, so knew I would like it before I even ordered it.

It was very delicious! I ordered mine with my favorite cheese filling and had traditional marinara sauce on the top. I did not notice too much difference in the taste from ravioli, put it did seem a little lighter.

This is something that I would definitely order again if I see in on the menu locally.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
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