Marcella Hazan’s brilliantly easy to make homemade tortelloni. This delicious recipe can be found in her “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” cookbook.
Yellow pasta dough
The Recipe: This recipe states it makes enough for six servings, and sometimes recipe yields are wildly off; this one isn’t. I cut the dough in half, wrapped up one lobe and froze it while processing with the second lobe for dinner. It yielded two full servings plus enough for a single serving for my lunch today. Next time I will know to cut the dough into thirds and freeze two lobes for future dinners for two, or I will take a whole day to use up the full batch and freeze what we don’t cook that night.
The Dough: Awesomely simple dough that comes out silky smooth when put through my KitchenAid pasta roller attached to my mixer, a.k.a The Mixinator. I love making pasta! The only issue I had making this batch was it was drier than it should have been, but that could be because I should have used four XL instead of four large eggs, or even five large instead of four large eggs, to sufficiently moisten the flour to get it ball up. I ended up deciding to add 3 tablespoons of water (one at a time) to make up the difference.
The Filling: The Swiss chard at the grocery store looked like doo, so I used clean, ready-to-cook bagged spinach instead. I also substituted prosciutto with breakfast chicken strips because we don’t normally shop at an Italian grocery store. No matter, the filling was just as tasty and balanced as if I had used the intended ingredients.
The Tools: I already mentioned using my KitchenAid “The Mixinator” mixer, and the Kitchenaid pasta roller from my pasta roller kit to make the long pasta sheets, but I didn’t mention the other tools I used to stuff the totelloni. I used my lovely little mini ice cream/cookie dough scooper to dump about 2/3 of a scoop out onto the long pasta strips, leaving about 1.5″ gutters between each blob, running the full length. I positioned each filling blob right below an imaginary middle line along the sheet so that when I folded it over, I would have a bottom edge to press together after I added a dab of water to the pasta sheet. I then used my fingers to press the air out and the pasta sheets together all around each blob, as though I were tucking a blankie around a child. The final tool I used was my seldom needed pizza cutter. I ran it along the bottom and side edges to square them up neatly before cutting smack dab in the middle of each gutter between the tortelloni squares. Worked like a charm.
The Cooking: I laid out each assembled and cut tortelloni square on a clean towel to rest before I cooked each batch in a pot of boiling, salted water. The squares drop to the bottom when they are raw and rise to the top when they are cooked. This happened in a matter of 2-4 minutes. I scooped them out using a slotted Chinese wire wok spoon, placed them in a bowl and covered them with the pasta sauce and freshly grated cheese.
The Sauce: I was running late with dinner last night, and by this point tired of being in the kitchen, so I cheated by heating up some bottled pasta sauce I had to use up anyway. I will try Marcella’s accompanying pasta sauce from scratch the next time I make this tortelloni. And there will be a next time; most definitely! I made so many that I have extra to cook here at work today for lunch in a lovely clear chicken broth. I can’t wait for lunch time to roll around. Hee.
All in all, I can’t find even one remotely negative thing to say about this recipe for tortelloni. It was super easy, about as time consuming as I thought it should be and tasted just as great even with ingredient swapouts. I don’t think you can go wrong with this recipe, kids. I give it a full 10/10 and a big “TRY THIS RECIPE!!”