Mushroom Agnolotti

Jonathan Benno

Lincoln Ristorante - NYC

Jonathan Benno prepared this intricate stuffed pasta at the Beard House during his tenure as chef de cuisine at Per Se in NYC.


Braised Oxtail:
  • 5 pounds oxtail
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 10 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 quart veal stock
  • 1 quart chicken stock
Forest Mushroom Farce:
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups assorted mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard or spinach, chopped
  • 4 cups mushroom stock
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup Taleggio or Brescianella Stagionata cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pasta Dough:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
Rainbow Swiss Chard:
  • 1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup brunoise of vegetables
  • 1/4 cup beurre monté
  • 3 drops white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup shaved Ubriaco cheese


Divide the oxtail between two resealable plastic bags. Combine the carrots, leeks, onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and red wine in a large bowl. Divide the marinade between two bags. Refrigerate for 18 to 20 hours, turning once or twice.

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Remove oxtail from the refrigerator and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat from the plastic bags to a container. Strain the marinade into a saucepan and transfer the vegetables to another container. Heat the marinade over medium-low heat and gently simmer, skimming and discarding the impurities as they rise to the surface, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Lay oxtail on a paper towel to absorb excess marinade and season with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off any excess. Heat canola oil in a large oven-proof pot over medium heat. Sear the oxtail, in batches if necessary, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Drain remaining oil from the pot leaving only the crusty brown particles on the bottom. Return pot to the stove, add the reserved marinated vegetables, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the glaze from the bottom of the pot, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved marinade to the pot. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half, 20 to 25 minutes. Return oxtail to the pot and add veal and chicken stocks. Return liquid to a simmer and braise in the oven until meat falls off of the bone, 3 to 4 hours.

Remove pot from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer oxtail from the liquid to a dish to cool. Once oxtail has cooled enough to touch, pick meat from the bone and reserve. Strain the braising liquid through a chinois into a saucepan and discard vegetables. Simmer over medium-high heat until liquid has thickened, about 35 minutes. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface and set aside.

To make the forest mushroom farce melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat until fragrant and lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on a tray lined with paper towels, set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the sauté pan. Add shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add Swiss chard and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Squeeze out any remaining liquid and set aside.

Warm mushroom stock in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. In another pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until most of the stock is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, to the risotto. Allow each addition to be absorbed before adding the next and stir continuously until rice is cooked al dente and mixture is creamy, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from stove and allow to cool slightly.

Combine the risotto, chard, mushrooms, cheese, chives, and parsley in a food processor. Pulse to combine and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushroom farce in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the pasta dough mound the flour on a flat surface and create a well in the center, making sure the well is wide enough to hold the eggs without spilling. Add the egg yolks, egg, milk, and oil to the well. Break up the eggs with your fingers and mix in a circular motion, making sure the liquid does not spill over the sides. Keep mixing the eggs while slowly incorporating flour until the mixture thickens and becomes too tight to move with your fingers. When the dough begins to thicken and lift off the board, incorporate any remaining flour with a pastry scraper (dough should look shaggy). Bring the dough together and form a ball.

Knead dough by pressing it in a forward motion with the heels of your palm while folding it over itself, as you would with bread dough, until dough is moist but not sticky. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes while you clean the work surface. Dust surface with flour and knead until dough becomes silky smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. The dough is ready when you can pull your finger through it and it snaps back into place. Let the dough rest, covered with a damp towel, for 30 minutes to 1 hour before rolling it through a pasta machine.

Divide dough into thirds. Run through a pasta machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. The sheets should be at least 5 inches wide and approximately 14 inches long. It should be thin enough to see your fingers but not translucent. Repeat process with remaining dough until you have 3 pasta sheets.

Lay a sheet of pasta across a lightly floured surface so that the long edge is facing you. Trim the edges to create a neat rectangle. Pipe a line of the filling across the length of the sheet, leaving about a 3/4-inch border of dough at the bottom edge. Pull the bottom edge of the pasta over the filling. Seal by lightly pressing down on the edge and the side openings while removing any air pockets; the sealed edge should be about 1/2 inch wide. With your thumb and forefinger, pinch filled dough at 1-inch increments, leaving about 3/4 inch between each pocket of filling. Run a crimped pastry wheel along the top sealed edge of the dough, separating the strip of filled pockets. Cut through the center of each pinched area to create individual agnolotti. Place the finished agnolotti on a baking sheet lined with a layer of cornmeal. Repeat process until all pasta is used. If you are not going to use the pasta immediately, cover and place in the freezer.

Remove stems from the rainbow chard, cut stems into 1-inch strips and dice the leaves. Blanch leaves and stems separately in lightly salted boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Shock in ice water, pat dry, and set aside.

Return braising liquid to the stove and add brunoise of vegetables, beurre monté, and white wine vinegar. Cook over medium heat until sauce is heated thoroughly, about 5 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook the agnolotti in lightly salted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In another pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard leaves and stems and cook until warm, about 2 minutes.

Add the agnolotti to the Swiss chard and toss to combine; divide among 4 plates. Spoon the oxtail and braising liquid over the pasta and top with shaved Ubriaco cheese. Serve warm.


4 servings