Barilla of Italy has patented a method of filled pasta which uses a novel notch to facilitate the filling: US patent 6203830.

The notch-and-fill arena is active with recent players being Nestle, Pillsbury, and Speedy Gastronomica.
 
Abstract:

    A method of producing filled fresh or dried pasta comprising a filling enclosed in at least one piece of rolled pasta dough having a moisture content of from 25% to 40% and comprising a peripheral portion and a substantially central portion for receiving a filling in which at least one notch is formed in the peripheral portion of at least one piece, the notch affecting the central portion receiving the filling; the filled pasta which can be produced by the method has better characteristics of consistency and palatability than the corresponding conventional filled pasta, upon cooking.

First of 20 Claims:

A method of producing filled pasta, comprising the steps of:

    a) providing a plurality of pieces of rolled pasta dough, each piece comprising a peripheral portion and a substantially central portion for receiving a filling,
    b) providing a pasta filling,
    c) metering the filling onto the central portions of the pieces,
    d) folding each piece along a substantially central line so as to enclose the filling in a kind of pouch,
    e) sealing the edges of the folded pieces in the region of the peripheral portions of the pieces, in which before step c), at least one notch is formed in the peripheral portion of each piece, the notch affecting the central portion receiving the filling.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent