Tortellini with Spinach & Ricotta

Tortellini with Spinach & Ricotta
Tortellini with Spinach & Ricotta
This is a delicious starter or main – only trouble if it is a starter your guests will always want more.  Once you have made them fresh you will never buy supermarket again!   Spinach & Ricotta is a wonderful combination and the Sage and Pine nut butter dressing compliments this dish so well.  Delicious!

Serves 4 as a main
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Herb Puree for the Pasta
15g watercress
100g Spinach
15g chives
2g coriander
5g chervil
For the Pasta
340g 00 pasta flour
12 egg yolks
30ml cold water
15ml extra virgin olive oil
2g salt
Semolina for dusting (optional)
For the Filling
200g spinach, cooked in salted water and chopped
200g ricotta
30g grated parmesan
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground salt & pepper
1 egg, whisked to stick the pasta
For the butter, sage & pine nuts
Small handful of pine nuts
50g butter
Parmesan, grated or in shavings


1.  Cook all the ingredients for the herb puree in a pan of salted boiling water.  Drain and then cool, place in a food processor and blitz.  Add a little water if necessary. Set aside.

2.  For the pasta, pour the flour into a mound onto a flat surface and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, olive oil, water, salt & herb puree into the well and gradually mix with either a blunt knife or a folk. When the dough has become a thick paste use your hands to incorporate more of the flour.
3.  You can sieve any remaining flour and use the sifted flour while you knead the dough to stop it sticking to the surface and to your hands, but be careful not to make the dough too dry. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Don't worry if you haven't used up all the flour.

4.  Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, for the filling, in a clean bowl, mix the spinach, ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg well, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6.  Divide the fresh pasta into four and keep three portions wrapped in cling film while you roll and stuff one quarter. This prevents the pasta from drying out. Roll out the pasta into a long, wide strip about 1mm in thickness, either by hand or using a machine.

7.  Using a small wine glass or round cutter measuring about 7cm/3in across cut out circles of pasta.   Place a teaspoon of the spinach and ricotta filling in the centre of each pasta circle.  Brush the outside of the pasta with egg and the fold in half and pinch together the edges to make sure it is sealed and holds the filling.  Now bring the two edges of the pasta together and pinch so that they stick together. 

8.  They can be cooked straight away or stored in fine semolina for up to two hours. You can also freeze them at this stage and then cook them from frozen when you are ready.
9.  To cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and gently lower in the tortellini.  Cook for about four minutes or until the pasta is soft but not floppy.

10.  While the pasta is cooking make the sauce.  Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan. They are quick to brown so don't take your eyes off them.  Put the pine nuts, sage leaves and butter into a frying pan and melt the butter taking care not to burn it. Add about a tablespoon of the pasta water and stir together to emulsify the sauce. Remove from the heat.

11.  When the pasta is done, drain it and toss with the sauce in the frying pan. Serve immediately sprinkled with parmesan.


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