In Italy, a typical Christmas Eve dinner always includes some stuffed pasta, better if it is home-made and “di magro” (which means without meat). We often serve this pasta in chicken broth and it is such a comforting food! So, to follow the tradition, I decided to make stuffed pasta and serve it with chicken broth. I chose a very easy filling: thinly grated Parmigiano Reggiano mixed with an egg and then decided to make a less known pasta shape: fagottini. I was very happy with the final result: the filling was very delicate yet tasty, the pasta looked cute and none of them opened while cooking! It is easy to make and it will impress all your guests!
For the Chicken Broth
2kg (4½ lb) chicken bones
500gm (1 lb) chicken wings
500gm (1 lb) white mirepoix – 4 medium onions and 4 large celery ribs
Bouquet Garni – parsley, bay leaves, a sprig of thyme and whole peppercorns
Up to 5 liters of water (I used about 4)
For the Parmigiano Reggiano Fagottini
Ingredients (for 4 people – you can refrigerate them for a couple of days or freeze them)
For the dough:
Egg pasta dough as per the instructions on How to make egg pasta dough (the filling is enough for a dough made with 200 gms – 7 oz. flour and 2 eggs)
For the filling:
150 gms – 5.25 oz. thinly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg (+1 egg for brushing the dough)
Nutmeg, a pinch
To make the Chicken Broth
Put the chicken carcasses and wings in a big pot. Add the mirepoix (peeled onions and celery stalks) and the bouquet garni (I put the herbs in a normal teaball, but it would be better to use a “sachet d’ épice” made with a cheesecloth bag as the teaball was not very big). Cover with water.
Put the pot on the fire and bring it to a boil. Now reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and without stirring for 3 to 4 hours. Remember to strain off the fat/froth with a slotted spoon every now and then.
At this point you have a tasty chicken stock. Strain it through a sieve lined with a muslin cloth or a coffee filter and discard the bones, mirepoix etc. Keep aside.
To make Parmigiano Reggiano Fagottini
To prepare the filling, simply mix the finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the nutmeg and egg.
Cook the fagottini IN the chicken broth following the steps on “How to cook pasta al dente”. Only in this case you will not have a pre set cooking time. This will vary on the thickness of your fagottini (it should take approximately a couple of minutes to cook if you have just made the pasta. If a number of hours have passed since you made the pasta then it would be slightly dry and could take between 10 to 12 minutes to cook). So, the best solution is to taste it! Remember, to check the joint, where your pasta is thicker. It does have to remain firm to be al dente.