WHAT IS FAGOTTINI?
Also known as sacchetti or fiochetti, fagottini are a member of the pasta ripiena (stuffed pasta) family. These little purses look like the pasta version of burrata cheese. The edges of a square cut of fresh pasta dough are pulled up and tied off into a bundle with string. This creates a pouch traditionally stuffed with Italian goodness. Last time I was in Milan at the restaurant L’Immagine, I had a fiocchetti pasta stuffed with gorgonzola, walnut, pears and a cream sauce. While you might think the additional dairy sauce was a mistake, it worked surprisingly well.
WHERE IS FAGOTTINI MADE?
To be clear we are talking about the pasta, not the goat’s milk cheese from Lombardy with the same name. The Italian pasta is most associated with Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. However dumplings are a universal recipe wherever leftovers and frugality meet.
HOW CAN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PASTA CONTAIN SUCH A DARK WORD?
The first five letters of this cut’s name comes from the French “fagot”. In the Middle Ages this basically meant a small bundle of stuff. As definitions go this is a pretty accurate description of fagottini. However, like all things, languages evolve. By the 150o’s, the practice of burning heretics alive was referred to as “frying a fagot.” Since then the term has been consistently used in a derogatory fashion for both men and women. To be fair to this pasta though, the negative version of the word came after the initial innocent version. So don’t hold fagottini’s name against it (anymore then you would with people named Richard who go by “Dick”). However if someone comes up with Mussolini-ttini’s, well then yeah boycott the hell out of that. Anyway N.P.R. has a good article on this, to read more click here!
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH FAGOTTINI?
Being from Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, Grana Padano and Parmesan Reggiano are the two most popular sauce ingredients. Check out our Grana Padano sauce recipe for an example! In terms of stuffing, pretty much anything savory goes though pear is a very popular ingredient. Personally I think a truffle salsa (Italian, not Mexican version) could be a lot of fun as well. Though be careful on not putting too much oil into the stuffing.