If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that first is the worst. So let’s just pretend this is the middle, the gooey part, the meat of the sandwich. In a way it is, since I started blogging way back in 2008 (you can explore my single-girl, slightly-depressed, slightly-angry, messy ramblings here), so this is kind of old hat for me. But I felt like a fresh start was necessary, since way back when I used to take pictures with my horrible Android device and Instagram-filter the shit out of them and then talk about unsavory topics (hi mom, hi dad!) in a stream of consciousness rant. NOW, I plan on most of those things except I have toned down my Instagram-filtering and my rants might be a tiny bit more savory….like a nice quiche but maybe only one of the eggs were bad.
So let’s dive in, shall we? For my first post I decided to show you how serious and capable I am with a homemade pasta recipe. My husband and I (oh yeah, I got married. if you read my old blog you might die of shock, and indeed many people thought it might never happen, but even insufferable weirdos find other insufferable weirdos [my husband is actually really lovely] eventually) like to make pasta on Sundays sometimes because it takes a long ass time and it feels like a nice cap to the weekend. Plus we have to carb up for sitting in front of our desks like defeated zombies all week and typey typey typey.
Making pasta is not difficult but it is time consuming. Sometimes my back hurts after shaping a lot of them, which is a sad fact about being in your 30s. I do love learning recipes that follow a simple and editable formula, which these tortellini do. You start with the simplest of pasta doughs, roll it out into strips, cut into squares (or circles) and add filling based on a simple ratio of cheeses. With that, you can riff as you like. This was our first time so we played it straight, and also I was on a long mission to convince my husband ricotta cheese is not the devil, which I think I succeeded in doing.
Served with a simple pesto and a crunchy salad, this shit was tasty.
Homemade Tortellini with Ricotta-herb filling
PHASE 1: The dough (this part will take you approximately 15 minutes)
2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling the pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
In a bowl or on the countertop, mix together flour and salt with a whisk. (Countertop for italian-grandmother feelings) Make a well and crack the eggs inside. Use a fork to whisk the eggs together and then gradually pull in the flour until you have a wet dough. Fold the dough over itself a few times until it keeps together, then knead for about 10 minutes (or until it is very smooth and elastic). Wrap in plastic and put in the refrigerator.
PHASE 2: The filling (this part will take you approximately 10 minutes)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sharper cheese (asiago, parmesano reggiano, etc), grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, salt, and parsley and mix well.
PHASE 3: Putting it all together (this part will take you about 45 minutes to an hour all told)
1. Divide pasta dough into quarters and keep 3 under a kitchen cloth while you work on 1. Using a pasta roller, or with a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out pasta to be quite thin (setting 6 on kitchenaid pasta roller, or until the pasta is even and translucent). Cut into 2.5″ strips or therabouts. Lay on a floured surface (a large cutting board does well). Cut into 2.5″x2.5″ squares. Repeat with each quarter until they are all rolled out (keep squares covered with kitchen cloth — you can even stack them with kitchen cloths between them).
2. Set a big pot of salted water on the boil. Place scant teaspoon of filling on each square. Get a small bowl with water. Dip your fingers in the water and trace 2 sides of the square. Bring dry sides to wet (corner first) and press from the filling out so there are no air pockets. Seal along the wetted sides. Then take the 2 folded corners and wrap them around the filling pouch to connect, wetting where they meet to seal. Stand tortellini on a floured baking sheet or other surface, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until all are made.
3. Boil tortellini in rolling-boil water for 4 minutes or until pleasantly al dente. Remove with a slotted spoon into a strainer or colander. Serve immediately with sauce of choice (we made pesto, it was glorious).