Ricotta and Pear Filled Fagottini


Pears are in season and delicious as we move into fall. I adore baked pears and pear tarts but my favorite by far are these delicious pear and ricotta filled fagottini.

I first tasted these fagottini at one of our favorite restaurants, located in the northern Lazio hill town, Civitá Castellana. We’ve not been back to the restaurant for a number of years as the chef, Sergio, sadly passed away. His wife and son gallantly continued with the restaurant but they eventually passed the restaurant off to new management. Let my adaptation of his recipe serve as a tribute to Sergio and the amazing dishes he created.

Pear and Ricotta Filled Fagottini

Ricotta and Pear Filled Fagottini

Serves 4-6

Fagottini (little sacks) are a charming variation to more common types of filled pasta, and make a beautiful presentation.
Ricotta cheese and pears are a marriage made in heaven. I always find myself eating half the filling before I’ve finished the recipe. It’s delicious!


For the filling:
Ricotta cheese, drained, 250 grams (9 ounces)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, 30 grams (1 ounce)
1 small firm pear (slightly under ripe)
For the pasta:
All Purpose Flour*, 200 grams (7 ounces)
*Note: Alternatively, use 2/3 all purpose flour and 1/3 semolina flour
2 eggs
For the sauce:
Ricotta cheese, 180 grams (6 1/2 ounces)
Fresh cream, 30 grams (1 ounce)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces)
1 small firm pear (slightly under ripe)

Cooking Instructions

For the filling:
Core the pear and cut into tiny cubes.
Mix the pear with the ricotta and Parmesan cheese and set aside.
For the pasta:
Prepare the pasta according to preparation instructions for the Basic Pasta recipe.
On a floured work surface roll out the dough into an almost paper-thin sheet.
Cut out 12 centimeter (5 inch) rounds using a pasta cutter or any other round cutting
substitute such as a small bowl.
Cover the rounds with a dishtowel and work about ten rounds per time to keep the rounds from drying out.
To fill the pasta, place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each round.
Use a small basting brush to moisten the border of each round.
With your fingertips pinch the pasta rounds together just above the filling, leaving the very top of the round open.
You should end up with what looks like little bundles.
The pasta can be frozen for future use at this point; do not thaw before cooking the pasta.
For the sauce:
Warm the ricotta and fresh cream over low heat until just warmed through.
Core the pear and slice into paper thin slices and set aside.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
Spoon some sauce onto each serving plate.
Gently remove the fagottini from the boiling water using a slotted spoon or large scoop colander.
Place 5 to 6 fagottini on each plate, spoon over some addition sauce and garnish each with Parmesan cheese and sliced pears.

Pear and Ricotta Filled Fagottini




Cameroni farro pasta with pioppini mushrooms, peperoncino, olive oil and onion

Farro pasta with pioppini mushrooms

I can’t seem to give up eating well in the interest of shedding a few pounds so I’m always on the search for ways I can have both. Every once in awhile I come up with a winning recipe where I really can have both amazing flavor and lose weight at the same time. The key is to use a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil, a whole grain pasta like farro and fresh veggies.

I hadn’t found a whole grain pasta that I love…until now. The Italian pasta producer, Bartolini, makes a few fabulous farro pastas: Cameroni (a short ribbed pasta similar to rigatoni) and Ciriole (a long pasta simitar to a narrow fettuccine). I used the Cameroni in this recipe.

Cameroni Farro Pasta with Pioppini Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Onion and Peperoncino

Serves 2-3


Farro Pasta, 250 grams (9 ounces)
Onion, 1/2 medium, minced
Garlic, one small clove, minced
Peperoncino, one minced
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
Cherry tomatoes, four, halved
Pioppini mushrooms, trimmed and flash rinsed, 250 grams (9 ounces)
Salt, two teaspoons
Parmesan cheese, finely grated, 50 grams (2 ounces), optional
Parsley, minced, one tablespoon

Pioppini mushrooms

Cooking Instructions

Sauté the onion, garlic and peperoncino in the olive oil on a low flame until the onion is tender and translucent. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water so the onion doesn’t burn.
Add the tomato and several tablespoons of water and cook covered until the tomato is soft and disintegrating.
Add the pioppini mushrooms and cook covered until just tender.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions.
Drain the pasta, reserving about a half cup of the cooking water.
Toss the pasta in the mushroom sauce and if the pasta seems too dry add some of the reserved cooking liquid.
Toss in the Parmesan cheese and place the pasta in a serving dish.
Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.



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I’ve been in love with this gorgeous Amalfi coast hill town that spills down to the sea with a blast of Mediterranean colors for decades. It’s all about the winding narrow streets and steps so full of charm, the amazing views that change with every step you take, the outstanding seafood, ceramics and quaint shops. Enjoy this flavor of Positano and if you’ve never been here, add it to your bucket list.

Vietri is just down the coast from Positano and its colorful hand-painted tiles, vases, plates and gift items embellish the beauty of Positano. I love these vases that nestle beautifully into a stairway.

Hand-painted Vietri ceramic flower vases

An example of a unique ceramic gift idea that recalls the seaside theme of the town.

Vietri ceramic cup and plate

On the street above the family-owned and operated Casa Cosenza is a tiny alimentari that also makes wonderful breakfasts including piping hot, flavorful, three-inch-deep torte rustiche (quiche). Sit outside at one of the wrought iron, painted white tables for your coffee, cornetto and fruit. And a slice of torta rustica; what a way to start the day!

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The torta rustica!

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Seafood looks amazing on these hand-painted Vietri plates.

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