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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Green Tortellini with Meat and Ricotta Stuffing

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I've come to one of my most challenging dishes so far. Today it was my turn to make tortellini - Green Tortellini with Meat and Ricotta Stuffing. I will start by saying I have never made tortellini before, and have never watched it being made. I thought about going to youtube and watching a video of someone making it, but I decided instead to follow Marcella's instructions and see how it turned out.

This tortellini has a meat and ricotta stuffing. You cook pork butt and veal shoulder (that was a challenge to find!) in butter. Chop it into very fine pieces, then mix it with chopped mortadella, ricotta, parmagiano-reggiano, an egg yolk, and a small grating of nutmeg.

The pasta is green, which is made by adding finely chopped cooked spinach to the flour and egg mixture as you're mixing your pasta. The pasta was much easier than I thought it would be. The pasta also has a little milk added to it to make it a little sticky, which is what you want for a filled pasta. You also work with a small amount of dough at a time, keeping the rest covered with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.

So, how do you make tortellini? You roll the pasta dough out into sheets, and cut it into 1 1/2" squares. You then put a small amount of the filling in the center of each square. You then fold according to Marcella's instructions. I'm not going to go into detail here, because the instructions are a little complicated. One thing she did suggest doing before you make them for the first time is to cut tissues into the correct size and try to fold them the correct way.

The folding of the tortellini got easier as I went along. I never did get fast with the process though. I will also admit that I began making them a little larger also (2" square instead of the 1 1/2") and that also made it a lot easier for me.

The flavor of these tortellini was excellent. Mild veal and pork, stronger mortadella, and that hint of nutmeg. I served mine with the Proscuitto and Cream Sauce that Palma posted about earlier, which was just perfect with these totellini.

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Would I make these again? Absolutely. And I hope I will get faster each time I make them.

Comments (1)

They look wonderful, Cindy! I could eat some right now!

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