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Agnolotti with Sundried Tomatoes, Peppers, Almonds & a hint of Saffron

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Update: (June 13th, 2009)This was one of the winner recipes in the Pasta Sauce contest sponsored by Foodbuzz & Buitoni! (Read about it).

Thanks to the Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program that I got these awesome Buitoni’s Wild Mushroom Agnolotti delivered to me.  These are “generously filled with fresh portobello & crimini mushrooms, imported Grana Padana & Parmesan Cheeses & fresh roasted garlic.” Actually I cannot wait to buy more of these! I am not usually a big fan of filled pastas, but this did beat anything around. These were just delightful, bursting with the earthy tones of mushrooms & garlic. The mushrooms  & the roasted garlic were really some serious business here, &  unbelievably delicious. I could just eat them boiled.

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It is what what it says on the package that they are just as good with a drizzle of olive & herbs. However this time I did make my own sauce  for these raviolis this time-with my favorite combination of Roasted Red Peppers & the Sun Dried Tomatoes Pesto as the base for the sauce, along with  some exotic flavor of Saffron this time.

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

1 pack Agnolotti (I have used the Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti here)

For the Sauce:

  1. 1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted Almonds
  2. 1/4 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, crushed
  3. 3/4 Cup Sun dried Tomatoes
  4. 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  5. 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  6. 3 Cloves of Garlic
  7. 1/2 Onion (White or Yellow), coarsely Chopped
  8. 1 Tablespoon red chili flakes (more or less to taste)
  9. freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  11. Salt
  12. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  13. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  14. a generous pinch of saffron
  15. Cheese of your choice for garnish

Note: I had about 1/4 cup of sauce left over after using with the given amount of Agnolotti.





Preparation:

Prepare the pasta according to package instruction. Drain the pasta & save the drained liquid.

Grind the Almonds, but NOT to a powder. Let them be chunky. Set aside.

Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup of warm water. Set aside.

If you are not using sun dried tomatoes in oil, it needs to be reconstituted first. Soak them in 1/2 cup of warm water for about 20 -30 minutes.

If you are not using store bought roasted red peppers, Roast them at home, Peel the blackened peels, slice them in to strips & set aside.

In a blender/processor, process together the sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, two tablespoons of olive oil, & the balsamic vinegar. Add some water water if it gets too dry.  Do not make a Puree. This too needs to be kept kind of chunky. Set aside.

Add the rest of the Olive Oil to a pan. Add the Garlic to the olive oil, & let the garlic heat up with the oil . This infuses the flavor of garlic in the oil.  When the oil heats up, you will see the garlic sizzling slightly. Do not let the garlic brown. Add the onions immediately when you see the oil heat up.

Stir them together for a minute, & add the red pepper flakes, salt & black pepper. Toss them for about 2-3 minutes till the onions soften & are translucent.

Add the red wine to the pan. After a minute add the pesto of sun dried tomatoes & roasted red peppers and the water with soaked saffron. Stir to combine,  & cover & cook for about 5-7 minutes at medium heat.

Uncover & add the almonds. Add 1/2 cup of the drained pasta liquid & the chopped rosemary. Add the sugar & salt.

Simmer for another 5-8  minutes or till you reach the desired consistency of the sauce.

This is what my sauce looked like, chunky, rich & full of texture & flavors!

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Add the Agnolotti/Pasta to the sauce. Simmer for only a minute or two & serve immediately.

Garnish with more herbs & black pepper & cheese of your choice. ( I have not used any cheese here.)


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Every bite satisfied all the senses of the palate. The flavors of the sauce & the agnolotti  infused in just right – there was slight hint of the saffron, & the roasted garlic in the pasta filling was very very good. There was something very physical about the  texture,  chewy, with the crunch of nuts  & everything delicious. I seriously loved the taste & feel of almonds in the sauce. I am kind of partial to the combination of the roasted red peppers & sundried tomatoes, but this time the addition of saffron & almonds kind of culminated the prior combo.





Related Posts:
Chicken & Roasted Capsicum Pasta

Iron Skillet Spaghetti
Penne Pasta in Red Pepper Pesto with Sweet Onions & Mushrooms
Cheese & Pasta Mini Cups






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