10 pounds pork cheeks, cleaned and excess sinew removed
2 quarts white wine
2 quarts fresh apple juice
2 fennel bulbs, small dice
1 white onion, small dice
½ cup garlic cloves, peeled
1 spice bouquet (star anise, bay leaf, peppercorn, coriander seed tied in cheesecloth)
1.3 kilograms “00” flour
750 millileters Pernod (or any high alcohol liquid, such as gin or vodka)
1 cup capers
1 cup cornichons
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh parsley *
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
extra virgin olive oil
*Substitute half the parsley for the same amount of blanched, minced nettle for Stinging Nettle Salsa Verde.
For the Pork Cheek Pasta Filling:
Sear the pork cheeks in a rondeau in batches. Deglaze the rondeau with the white wine. Return the cheeks to the pot along with the apple juice. Add the fennel, onion, and garlic. Season the liquid with salt and add the spice bouquet. Cover and gently braise for 1½ to 2 hours, until tender. Strain the meat and vegetables and discard the spice bouquet. Reduce the braising liquid to a glaze and season with salt. Put the warm braised cheeks in a large mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth, adding the reduced braising liquid as needed (about 1 to 2 cups) to help season the mixture and keep it moist. Adjust the seasoning and rapidly chill the mixture for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
For the Pernod Fry Dough:
Sift the flour into the bowl of a mixer. Add a quarter of the Pernod and mix for 6 minutes. Add another quarter of the Pernod and mix for 5 more minutes. Pour in another quarter of Pernod and mix for 7 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the remaining Pernod as a ball of dough forms. Allow the dough ball to mix for 5 minutes until well worked and slightly dry in texture. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes before using, or refrigerate for up to one week.
For the Salsa Verde:
Blend the capers, cornichons, mint, basil, parsley, mustard, and sugar in a food processor. Slowly pour in the olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt.
To Assemble and Serve:
Roll the pasta dough out using a pasta machine (the dough will have very little elasticity and will break easily). Continuously fold it over until a firm sheet develops. Roll sheets to thinnest setting possible. Using basic agnolotti technique and a pastry wheel/cutter, cut the sheet into rectangular 2½ x 5-inch strips. Use a spoon to gently place ½ ounce of filling in the center of your strip. Fold in one side of the strip over the filling to encapsulate it. Roll the square ravioli over one more time to use the last third of the strip. Fry the agnolotti in 350°F oil for about 1 minute, or until a faint golden brown. Serve the angolotti immediately with the salsa verde on the side as a dipping sauce.