Friday, March 16, 2012

Tortellini a la casa - female bonding over pasta fillings


For the dough and how to roll it out, see my ravioli recipe, doubled

Arugula-ricotta filling
1/2 cup arugula
1/4 cup ricotta
0.7 ounces pecorino
pinch of nutmeg
Pear-pecorino filling
1/2 pear (not too juicy)
3 tbsp pecorino
1 tbsp ricotta
Gorgonzola-walnut filling
1/4 cup gorgonzola (or other blue cheese)
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup walnuts, cut into pea-sized pieces
Dried-tomato ricotta filling
1/4 cup dried tomatoes
1/4 cup ricotta

I love cooking with friends. Even the most tedious, time consuming task becomes fun when done together (such as filling and folding dozens of tortellini by hand). Nothing compares to the camaraderie of sharing a sore back after rolling out the dough for 4 types of tortellini with a wine bottle for a lack of a proper rolling pin. And the rush of endorphins once the operation is finished induces immediate female bonding.

So a friend and I decided to make - as you might have guessed by now - tortellini. The idea quickly turned into a whole project in itself. Days of brainstorming led to more confusion, introducing us to the endless universe of pasta fillings. Tough decisions had to be made, realism had to tame our imagination and direct it into setting attainable expectations. Finally, we both committed to the ambitious but achievable goal of two types of fillings each. Had we been guys, this would have turned into a competition, but instead, we wanted to compose the right mix out of all the possible options, choosing fillings that were different enough to keep things interesting (red! green! pears! nuts!) and yet had some overall theme in common (ricotta!).

After days of anticipation, the morning of the big day had come. We were prepared (except for the rolling pin) and we were ready, skipping the usual niceties and cutting right to the chase. We pushed the food processor towards overheating, producing one filling after the other, throwing ingredients together and chopping them into fine pastes (with the exception of the walnuts). We kneaded dough until our knuckles hurt. We rolled it out with said wine bottle in the sweat of our faces. Once thin enough, we cut the dough plates into dozens of squares, filling them with a little less than a teaspoon of filling, and we folded, and folded and folded... (a very good instruction can be found here), gluing them together with a little bit of water and a lot of hope that they would not fall apart.

When the last tortellini had closed its arms to hold its precious cargo, the sun had already begun to set. Every muscle in our arms and backs might have been hurting, our arms might have been covered in dough, and pieces of cheese and nuts might have been stuck in our hair. But the pile of pretty pasta we each got to carry home to our husbands that night with the pride of the successful huntress had been oh so worth it.

Life is good!


  1. What a wonderful post :D
    And a great recipe to the boot as well!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Strawberry Hot Fudge Choc Cobbler

  2. You are right, I love to plan and cook with my girl friends! Its always fun and you can hre the work and learn new tricks and ideas here and there.

    Your tortellini look absoulty perfect and they r tempting me right now to make myself a own batch.

    thanks for sharing!

  3. Gorgonzola walnut filling!! Yum, these look spectacular!

  4. Life is definitely good when it includes pasta!

  5. These tortellini fillings sound terrific! All the combinations I adore! Blue cheese with walnuts, pear with blue cheese too... The first one sounds so great, I must test it one day!

  6. You are a dedicated and determined cook:-). I hope those men know how lucky they are. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. I have yet to make tortellini - maybe because no one will share the work with me! I love all 3 fillings - because they're cheese-based. For some reason don't adore meat fillings. Now this pear-Pecorino really has my attention!

  8. Such a fun-sounding day with delicious looking results!

  9. I can't think of a better way to spend the day than with a good friend, a kitchen and sough. Awesome. Thanks for sharing your day day with us.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...