About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Tortellini with Meat and Cheese Filling | Main | Tortellini with Fish Stuffing »

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 (13)

Amy:

Beautiful!

Mindy:

This brings me to my time in Bologna with Raffaella and Francesca!!...oh my goodness....mouth watering!!!!!

Brava!!

Those are BEAUTIFUL! I am making mine today. Can't wait! Aren't they fun? So pretty all lined up!

Marcella Hazan:

Beautiful! I could give you a hug, Cindy. I am glad you were able to make those gorgeous tortellini without benefit of a demonstration either live or through video, but simply by paying close attention to my directions. You should indeed continue to make them as often as you are able because, aside from the fact that they are delicious, shaping them requires manual dexterity and that develops over time. When I had my school in Bologna, I had an assistant, Margherita Simili who could make 45 tortellini a minute! Margherita and her sister Valeria opened their own school after I closed mine.

They look gorgeous Cindy!

Amy, Mindy, and Suzi-Thanks! I loved the green colour of the dough.

Marcella-Thank you so much for your nice comments. It was a bit of a challenge figuring out the instructions. Not because they're not clearly written, but because most things like this are easier done when seen visually. But I persevered and managed. I was quite slow, but as you said, I'm sure it does get faster with each attempt. I read your comments about Doug letting his pasta sheets dry. That was one thing I found out. One sheet at a time, and you must work fast. The dough does dry out fast, and when that began to happen you couldn't form them into their shape. I kept mine well-wrapped under plastic wrap. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe that is very special.

Cindy, these are just gorgeous!!!! As soon as I have time to make something that isn't on my own assigned list, this will be the very first.
We've got two more weeks of pasta, and I for one am going to be sad to leave the chapter behind.

Marcella, in the weeks we've been on this project, I've taught myself to take the time to read a recipe completely before starting. And when necessary, I've gone back to the "fundamentals" section to reread the parts that pertain to the recipe I'm doing that week. It makes a HUGE difference!

I just wanted to comment regarding the Simili sisters. My husband and I were very fortunate to take a number of classes with them over the course of a few years.

Margherita was amazing! She was incredibly adept at shaping many types of pasta. There was a pasta shape from Liguria, whose name escapes me. I found this shape terribly difficult. She whipped those babies out at lightning speed! All I could do was shake my head and laugh at my own ineptitude.

I can still taste the tortellini in brodo we made with them...

Doug:

Hey Cindy,

Great job! Much better than my feeble effort.

Irene:

Great job Cindy!

They are so pretty, Cindy - maybe too pretty to eat! Just kidding, of course - I would love to have a plate of those right now!

Marcella Hazan:

@ Susie L: Margherita is what Italians call a force of Nature. She started working for me when she was still making pasta in her father's shop, and stayed for 12 years until I closed the school and moved my classes to Venice. Her manual dexterity is a marvel to watch. The Ligurian pasta she was rolling off her fingers may have been trofie, delicious with pesto. Sometimes Chefshop.com carries it.

Marcella, you are right, it was trofie! Boy, did I have a difficult time with that shape.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 8, 2010 1:01 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Tortellini with Meat and Cheese Filling.

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