Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Tortellini

Oops forgot to fold up the bottom point, but aren't they still pretty?!  

I know I did a stuffed pasta last week, but I made fresh cheese tortellinis for the January Cooking Club Challenge over on Food Network Canada's site (stay tuned for that post tomorrow) and since they were so easy and tasty that I had to share how I did it.  I alos wanted to direct you to a great tortellini filling and folding tutorial that Mama Shack did.  The great thing about these and last weeks ravioli is that they freeze beautifully!  So if you spend a few hours on your weekend making and filling pasta and then freeze it, you could potentially have a ton of easy meals on the go in your freezer.  You shouldn't eat pasta every day, but once I see no problem in it once a week. Especially if you make a veggie rich sauce to go with these deliciously cheesy morsels, you'll have quite a nice complete meal.

Homemade Tortellini
makes 3 dozen

1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 Tbsp fresh oregano minced
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 egg yolk

adapted from Bell'alimento

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
5 eggs - lightly beaten
1-2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt

1.  First get your pasta dough working.  Place flour in the bowl of your mixer, pour eggs into well.  Using the dough hook, mix on low just until the dough comes together I found that all of my flour didn't work in so I streamed in a bit of olive oil.  You can continue to knead with the dough hook, but I dumped it onto a lightly floured counter and kneaded it by hand until it was smooth and shiny.  Wrap in plastic and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2.  While the dough it chilling mix all of the filling ingredients together and set aside.
3.  Once the dough has chilled and the glutens have relaxed, get your pasta roller set up.  Taking a small piece of dough, feed it through the first setting 2-3 three times.  Then slowly increase the setting one at a time until the sheets of pasta are nice and thin.  I went as high 6 on my KitchenAID Pasta attachment.
4.  Lay the pasta sheet on a lightly floured counter.  Cut the sheet into 3 inch squares.  Fill with a teaspoon of filling and fold according to this fabulous tutorial from Mama Shack.  The only difference with using the pasta sheets is you don't need to seal them with a fork, simply pressing with your fingers will seal them.  I forgot to fold back the bottom point on mine, but don't Mama Shacks look great?!.

5. Set finished tortellinis on a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet and into the freezer for a few hours until frozen.  Use right away in soup of place into individual freezer bags for another time. 

I know I sound like a broken record, but I still completely swear on homemade filled pastas, you can take an afternoon to make a ton and freeze them for use whenever.  What's you favorite kind of filled pasta?


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