Meaning "little bundles" or "little purses," fagottini is a type of Italian pasta about the size of ravioli. In roughly pyramid or purse shapes, fagottini consists of squares of pasta in which all four ends are folded into a single point. They are often filled with meats, vegetables, and cheeses.
Simple dough for fagottini consists of flour, salt, and eggs. The flour and salt is combined and then the eggs are beaten slowly into the flour by hand. If the dough becomes too dry or crumbles, water may be added. Dough is then kneaded on a floured surface until smooth. Once smooth, it is set aside and allowed to rest for about half an hour.
The pasta may be rolled by hand or a pasta maker may be used. The pasta is rolled extremely thin, approximately 0.0625 inches (0.15 cm), or 1/16th of an inch. If using a pasta maker, the dough will usually need to be run through the machine several times to reduce it to the desired thinness. Afterward, it is cut into small squares.
Almost any meats, cheeses, or vegetables may be added for filling. Italian cheeses, such as Romano, are most common. Mushrooms are also a popular addition to the filling, and spices, such as thyme, are frequently added to the fillings as well. Any vegetables or meats should be cut into small pieces. Some recipes suggest using a blender or food processor to ensure nice blending of the filling.
Once the dough is cut into squares, small spoonfuls of filling are placed in the center of each square. Water or egg whites are brushed along the edges of the squares to help adhere the edges together. Then the ends are pressed together to form a peak and excess air is removed. From the side, the completed pasta resembles a simple purse. The pasta is then boiled in salted water for several minutes.
Pre-made fagottini can be found in groceries and restaurants in Europe, though it is rarely found in other parts of the world. They may be brown, green, or orange depending on the ingredients of the pasta used. Sometimes the pre-made variety will not have the pointed peak of the homemade variety. Instead, it will more closely resemble small pouches, with flared ends, wrapped around the filling.
Nontraditional fagottini can also be made. In these cases the pasta is rolled less thinly and cut into rectangles, which are filled with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The rectangles are folded over the filling and sealed the same way as traditional fagottini. Then they are brushed with egg whites and baked.