In my quest to master homemade pasta (and become Italian), I’ve moved on to tortellini. These ring-shaped pastas are my favorite!
Stories say, the tortellini got their name (as they resemble belly buttons or navels) when Venus and Jupiter stayed at a tavern outside Bologna and the local inn keeper peeked through their room’s peephole, only being able to see Venus’ captivating navel, at which he rushed into the kitchen to make this pasta in tribute. Others say, it was not Venus, but Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI (in the 1500s) whose beautiful belly button inspired the dish instead. Either way, belly buttons man!
For this tortellini I decided to go with a meat filling (after doing a simple cheese ravioli I wanted something different). I couldn’t find a recipe I liked so inspired by the great pasta I’ve had over the past months, I whipped something up with Italian sausage, ground beef sirloin, a little diced onion and some minced garlic.
While your filling cooked, it’s time for the pasta! I’m getting good at making the dough and rolling it out. I’ve been using Mario Batali’s pasta recipe, which seems to work out well.
Now form your tortellini! It took a little time to master the shape… I found it was easiest to cut the pasta sheets into circles about 5 cm in diameter and then folding the pasta in half. Seal the edges and then gently bring the ends together at the bottom.
*cutting the sheets into squats also worked but my geometry is so bad I kept cutting rectangles yielding my folding inaccurate.
But after a little practice, I’m really proud of how they turned out! They look like real tortellini! Little belly buttons! I might as well just move to Italy!
Now onto the sauce! To off set the rich filling, I wanted to do a cream sauce with a hint of sweetness. A little light cream with Parmesan cheese, a dash of nutmeg and a little fig jam made for a great compliment to the tortellini.
And there you have it! This is probably one of the dishes I’m most proud of making as of late… I mastered a technique and didn’t rely on a recipe!
Up next I want to try agnolotti!