Anolini
  • 3-4 days (but during day 1 and 2 you will have a lot of time left as it is cooking and resting time)

  • Medium difficulty

  • 80-90 serves

ANOLINI

Ingredients for the stew:

575g PORK LOIN (=20,28oz)

530g VEAL EYE OF ROUND (=18,70oz)

645g BEEF MUSCLE with its bone and marrow (=22,75oz)

1 CARROT (about 100g=3,53oz)

2 CELERY STICKS (about 100g=3,53oz)

1 ONION (about 180g=6,35oz)

15 CLOVES

1 CINNAMON STICK

65g DRY WHITE WINE (=2,29oz)

EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL to taste

1 spoon TOMATO PASTE

5000g WATER (=176,37oz=21 ⅛ cups)

COARSE SALT to taste

Ingredients for the filling:

All the STEW MEAT (=about 1230g=43,39oz once cooked)

810g BREADCRUMBS (=28,58oz=7 ½ cups)

2430g PDO PARMIGIANO REGGIANO 36months (=85,72oz=24 ⅓ cups)

1100g STEW LIQUID (=38,80oz)

10 EGGS

NUTMEG to taste

Ingredients for the pasta:

26 EGGS (about 1440g=50,79oz)

about 960g DARUM WHEAT SEMOLINA (=4,69oz=5 ¾ cup)

about 1920g PLAIN FLOUR (=9,42oz=15 ⅓ cups)

75g EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (=2,65oz=5 tbsp)

TABLE SALT to taste

To serve:

MEAT STOCK

grated PDO PARMIGIANO REGGIANO 24months to taste

Introduction:

Being the most important recipe I will ever hand you down, this time I need to write you a brief introduction before starting.

First of all, don’t be scared by amounts! This is what I’ve just finished making and to write you the correct recipe I had to weigh everything while preparing (as I usually cook by heart just following the rules I’ve always been following since I started making anolini many years ago). You can easily halve the amounts or even proceed with just one third of the ingredients quantity. The reason why I make so many anolini at once is that my family loves them and they are the perfect option when I invite friends at home (I freeze them). Moreover, you have to wait for so long for the stew to be ready and the filling to rest that I prefer doing big quantities at once than making them many times.

One important thing you need to know is that there are two main options when making anolini: the process and the quantities are the same, but you need to decide whether to include minced stew meat in the filling or not. I make both options, but I prefer the one with meat in.

Method:

Day 1: prepare the stew

Wash and dry celery, then remove leaves. Peel carrot and onion. Cube the vegetables and stew them in extra-virgin olive oil in a big and large pot at low heat.

In the meantime, insert 5 cloves in each meat type piece. Add the meat to the sweating vegetables. Cook at low heat for about 30 minutes, turning meat here and there so as to brown each side.

Warm a pot of water up.

Once meat has browned, douse with white wine and add cinnamon.

Then add hot water: I usually add only 3000g (=105,82oz), but as my lid probably doesn’t fit my pot perfectly and lets some steam out, last time I had to add about 2000g (=70,55oz) after a few hours. What is important is to get to about 1100g (=38,80oz) concentrated liquid in the end, so just make sure to cover all the meat pieces with water and then check after a few hours if you need to add more.

Increase the heat and bring to boil. Take the grey foam that will form on the top of the liquid away with a perforated spoon, then lower the heat and cover with a lid.

Let everything simmer for minimum 8-10 hours, but after 5-6 hours add tomato paste and just 10 minutes before turning the fire off, add salt.

Let everything cool down.

Day 2: prepare the filling

Filter the liquid and strain the meat (throw cinnamon, cloves and vegetables away).

Mince meat with a food processor, making sure to have taken all the cloves away. Weight the amount of meat as this will help you understand how much breadcrumbs you will need: the ratio is ⅔. If you don’t want to include meat in the filling this is the only step you have to exclude.

Bring the stew liquid to boil.

In the meantime, grate the hardened bread you will have prepared days before: I usually make bread at home (recipe here), then cut it into slices and let it dry. Once grated, bake breadcrumbs in the oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 20 minutes in order to lose humidity.

Lay breadcrumbs in a big bowl (if you don’t have a very big bowl you’d better divide all the ingredients in 2 or 3 bowls, making sure to divide all the quantities proportionally) and start adding ladlefuls of the stew liquid: you will need about 11 ladlefuls (about 100g=3,53oz each), but add only 8 first and start mixing with a fork to understand how many more you need. Knead with the hands (pay attention as it is really hot): the final result should be a humid but compact dough. Press the mixture and widen it to help it cool down faster.

Freshly grate PDO Parmigiano Reggiano: the ratio between breadcrumbs and cheese will be 1:3. I use a 36 months bought from a dairy whose cheese is always mild and quite sweet, with no defects (bitterness, acidity, …). In case you are using a stronger PDO Parmigiano Reggiano you can use a younger one (30 months).

Once bread has cooled down, add grated PDO Parmigiano Reggiano, whole eggs and grate nutmeg on top. Mix everything patiently with the hands to get to a homogeneous result. It will take some time as the filling has to be compact and this means it is quite hard to work. Cover the big bowl (or smaller bowls) with a lid (I use hermetic bowls, but you can proceed with clingfilm) and let it rest in the fridge (or outside if it is cold) for minimum 1 night (the more the best).

Days 3 and 4: prepare pasta and wrap anolini

Prepare ½ of the pasta dough (as I usually need more than 1 day to make all the anolini, I prefer to make fresh egg pasta everyday) breaking and weighing the eggs, then calculate the double of the egg weight and the result is the total amount of flour needed. Divide this amount in three parts: ⅓ darum wheat semolina and ⅔ plain flour. Proceed with one pinch of table salt for every egg yolk and then add extra-virgin olive oil.

Knead until it becomes smooth, elastic and homogeneous, then cover it carefully with plastic wrap. Let the pasta dough rest in the fridge for minimum 1 hour before using it.

Take the pasta dough out of the fridge and cut a little pasta (the right amount for 3-4 strips, according to the size of your pastry board). Always remember to cover the remaining pasta dough with its plastic wrap.

Roll the dough thin with a pasta machine: flatten a bit with your fingers or with a rolling pin and insert in the pasta machine between the rollers starting from the larger hole (setting the adjustment knob of the machine to 0). Decrease the thickness step by step and pass through the rollers each time until you get to your chosen thickness (my machine has 9 levels and I stop at 7 for anolini).

Lay the pasta sheets on the pastry board, then lay small balls of filling along an imaginary line in the middle of the pasta sheet, leaving about 1 finger between one ball and the following one. Fold the pasta sheet so as to completely cover the filling. Press to seal, making sure to let all the air out (I usually use my left hand index finger in a straight position together with my right hand pinky finger curved so to touch the edge to the index). Cut with a round anolini mould. Anytime you prepare a strip, you can re-use the scraps of the strip before (if they are still humid enough).

Lay the shaped anolini on a cardboard tray (with this pasta recipe you don’t need to flour your working surface nor the tray as it is not sticky one).

You will get about 9400g (=331,58oz) anolini with this recipe. You can decide to eat some fresh but you will have to freeze the majority, laying one tray at a time in the freezer (do not overlap trays) for minimum half an hour (the more the better) and then move the frozen anolini in plastic freezer bags (I usually put 1000g=35,27oz in each bag). 

To cook anolini bring a pot full of meat stock to boil on the bigger fire available (you will need high flame as the anolini will be frozen and they will lower the stock temperature).

Take the anolini out of the freezer 15-20 minutes in advance and lay them outdistanced on a cloth.

When the stock boils, plunge the anolini in and stir gently with a perforated spoon. Once the stock starts boiling again, it will take about 1 or 2 minutes to have them perfectly cooked: they have to be al dente. Do not cook too many anolini at once (no more than 1000g=35,27oz, but less would be even better) or they will lower the stock temperature too much.

Serve them together with their meat broth. I usually consider about 25-30 anolini per person, but I know my guests will ask me for a second helping! By the way, as the stock stays hot, cook them a second time: do not leave anolini in the stock or they will overcook.

Prepare some freshly grated PDO Parmigiano Reggiano in case someone prefers to add some on top.

Enjoy one of the most traditional Parma recipes!