Silverbeet and goat’s cheese agnolotti with artichokes and pesto

Silverbeet and goat’s cheese agnolotti with artichokes and pesto

My Italian Kitchen
Chris Middleton

I dedicate this dish to my beautiful Nonna Maria, who won the hearts of so many MasterChef viewers during my time on the show. This recipe is my definition of perfection. It is, without a doubt, Nonna Maria’s signature dish. It’s often on the menu for lunch or dinner. Well, she makes sure of it, as she knows it’s my all-time favourite.


Quantity Ingredient
Pasta dough
75ml extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch silverbeet, thick stalks removed, chopped
320g goat’s cheese in oil, drained and crumbled
sea salt flakes
semolina, for dusting
1 onion, finely chopped
2 artichokes, trimmed and thinly sliced
100g basil, leaves picked
50g pine nuts
2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano, grated, plus extra for serving
125ml cream
4 slices pancetta, chopped


  1. Prepare the pasta dough recipe to the step where it has rested for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the pasta filling, pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan, add one-third of the garlic and all of the silverbeet, and cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the silverbeet has wilted. Remove from the heat, add the goat’s cheese, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside.
  3. Divide the dough into six portions, shaping into discs and dusting with semolina. Feed each disc through a pasta machine, working through the settings until you reach a setting Number 5 or 6, depending on how thin you want it.
  4. Lay one sheet of pasta on a floured work surface, place teaspoon amounts of filling on the sheet, leaving a gap of approximately 5 cm between each. Place another pasta sheet over the top and press around the filling mounds to remove any air
  5. Using an 8.5 cm cutter, cut around each spoonful of filling to form the agnolotti. Press the edges firmly with a fork. Continue until all the dough and filling have been used. Set the agnolotti aside on a lightly floured tray covered with plastic wrap or a tea towel until ready to cook.
  6. For the artichoke and pesto sauce, place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and set over a medium heat. Add the onion, remaining garlic and artichoke slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichoke slices are tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. While the artichoke is cooking, process the basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor until combined. Transfer the pesto sauce to the artichoke mixture, add the cream and allow to cook until warm, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
  8. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over a high heat. Add the agnolotti and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain.
  9. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, crisp the pancetta for a few minutes until crunchy.
  10. To serve, place the agnolotti in a bowl, add the artichoke sauce, and sprinkle with crispy pancetta and grated Parmigiano.


  • Silverbeet is such an undervalued and overlooked vegetable. Too many people think that spinach has much more flavour and depth, but actually silverbeet is delicious when cooked properly and matched with the right quality ingredients. Simply sauté silverbeet with a little garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice, and there is a perfect, quick and easy side dish.
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