The tortellini is the most famous stuffed pasta in the world: it takes time and commitment, which make this recipe unique and special!
Italian Tortellini Recipe
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
For the dough:
• just over 3 cups (400 g) of flour
• 4 large eggs, about 1 cup (250 g)
For the filling
• 2,5 oz (70 g) of veal
• 2,5 oz (70 g) of pork loin
• 2,8 oz (80 g) of mortadella
• 2,8 oz (80 g) of raw ham (prosciutto)
• 1 ½ cups (150 g) of parmesan cheese
• 1 large egg
• 1 ½ tbsp (20 g) of butter
• powdered nutmeg to taste
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Start with the egg pasta dough: place the flour on a work surface, make a large indentation in the middle and crack 4 eggs into the well — I’m using large eggs, consider that one large egg is about ¼ cup (70 g) by volume, so you’ll need about 1 cup (250 g) of egg. Mix the eggs with a fork and gently incorporate the flour into the egg until it becomes thick and creamy, so that it won’t run over the sides — perhaps bring in the egg with the fork, without breaking the walls of the well, to keep it from running all over the table — and continue in this way until thick, then we can knead by hand. If you are not that skilled, you can use a large bowl. The center has thickened and can’t run over the table, so we can knead by hand until it forms a smooth and soft dough; shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and allow to rest in a fresh place for at least 2 hours, but not in the fridge. This is our dough, let it rest for a couple of hours.
2. Now prepare the filling: put the butter in a small pan, let it melt, then add the pork loin and the veal. Often chicken or turkey breast is used in addition to veal and pork, but this is up to your taste. Let it brown on a high flame, until the meat releases its juices, then turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit.
After the meat has browned and cooled, take a food processor fitted with the metal blade and combine the roughly chopped raw ham, the diced mortadella and the cooled meat. Secure the lid and process. Add the parmesan cheese, a large egg, the nutmeg and pepper to taste; don’t add salt yet but taste the mixture first, as it may be salty enough. Process again. Here’s our mixture, soft and quite smooth, taste for salt… Process again to incorporate the salt, after that our tortellini filling is ready.
3. Unless you are a tireless azdora, the traditional housewife who is able to roll out the dough very thinly with a rolling pin, I suggest that you use a pasta machine, so take about 3,5-5 oz (100-150 g) of dough at a time and cover the remaining dough with cling film to keep it from drying out. Roll the dough through the pasta machine starting from the widest setting; if it’s too sticky, dust with a little flour, but only a little bit. Repeat 2 or 3 times at the widest setting, then pass the dough through the narrower settings until as thin as possible. Don’t use too much flour for dusting, if needed, otherwise the dough will dry out quickly when making the tortellini, so try to keep the dough as moist as possible.
4. Here’s the first piece of dough, it’s very thin; even out the edges and cover the scraps with cling film or they will dry out and won’t be reusable. Take a plain pastry cutter and cut out squares, about 1 ½ inches (4 cm) to a side: first cut into strips, 1 ½ inches wide, then divide into squares. This is our cooled filling mixture, take a small amount and place in the middle of each square. Work quickly or the dough will dry out and you won’t be able to seal it well; if this happens, brush the edges with a little water or maybe find someone who can help you. After placing the filling in the middle of each square, shape the tortellini: bring one corner over the filling toward the opposite corner and fold into a triangle, press the edges to seal, to prevent the filling from leaking out, then fold up the tip, wrap the ends around your finger and pinch together. Repeat until the dough and the filling are used up. It makes about 250 tortellini; remember to cover the dough with cling film, to keep it from drying out, and work as quickly as possible, perhaps with a co-worker; if the dough dries out, brush with a little water, to make it stick. When a bunch of tortellini is done, place them on a tray, lined with a floured cloth, and keep in a fresh place, otherwise allow them to dry and store in the fridge in a container with lid.
5. Our tortellini are ready, tradition dictates that they are cooked in meat stock, capon stock would be perfect; drop them in and wait until they float to the surface. If you want to serve tortellini without broth, use meat stock for cooking, then drain and add your favorite sauce!