As you may have read a few times now, I have a lovely new pasta maker. Sorry to keep banging on about it but I do. I decided to use it to whip up another batch of tortellini. The last ones I made were completely handmade, which actually came out very well. It is easier with a pasta machine as its far quicker to get the dough nice and thin, but it really isn’t essential. So if you have been humming and hawing about making fresh pasta for a while now them I would really recommend you give it a try as they taste amazeballs, far better than the ones you can buy in the supermarket.
250g of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large handfuls of spinach
300g of ricotta (see my recipe here)
A knob of butter
To make the pasta. Mix the salt with the flour then make a heap on a clean flat surface. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in your beaten eggs. I haven’t taken any pictures of these steps as I’m sure you have seen it countless times before. Stir the egg gradually incorporating the flour from the sides of the circle a bit at a time so the well keeps its shape until the last moment. When all the flour has been mixed in you should have a lump of dough. Knead this dough for 5- 10 minutes until it is elastic and has some stretch to it. Wrap in cling-film and store in the fridge for 30 minutes. While you are waiting you can make the filling and sauce.
To make the filling chop the spinach then wilt in a little butter. Mix the spinach and ricotta together and season well. If you have some fresh parmesan to hand, grate some in too.
After the dough has been chilled properly you can begin to roll it out. It’s a good idea to separate your lump of dough into 2 or 3 pieces and work with one piece at a time. Put the unused lumps back in the fridge so they don’t dry out. If you have a pasta maker rolling the dough should be quick and easy. If not roll those sleeves up and get out your rolling-pin. The pasta really does need to be wafer thin, so when you think its thin enough, keep rolling. I read online that it should be thin enough so that you can see a playing card underneath the dough. The thinner your pasta the better it will taste. Even if the pasta is a little thick it’s not the end of the world but the skinny ones were definitely far tastier than the fatties. You can use anything round to cut the tortellini shapes, I just used a regular paper cup with a diameter of about 7 centimetres. I found that this was a good size. I tried a smaller cup too but I found they were quite fiddly to make, plus you would have to make more of them too.
When your circles are all cut, put a bit of filling in the middle of the circle. About half a teaspoon.
Fold the circle over so it makes a half moon shape. Squeeze the edges of the pasta together all around the filling, so the lump is secured. Bring the two edges together so it makes the shape below.
Put the tortellini on a floured plate to dry out for about 20 minute..
Once your tortellinis have dried out. Boil them in batches of about 12 in salted water. They will take 1-2 minutes and are done when they float to the top. Serve with your favourite pasta sauce and top with freshly grated parmesan. Voilà homemade tortellini.