A savory telling: It’s National Tortellini Day!

Pasta is a perennial favorite.
Did you know it’s National Tortellini Day…
…those piquant puffs of pasta? The creative is up to your kitchen.
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Classic Tortellini
courtesy of Alton Brown
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped spinach
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh pasta, recipe follows
1 egg mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water
In a bowl combine all ingredients, except for the pasta and egg wash.
Using the fresh pasta recipe, roll out your dough either by hand or by machine. Cut into 3 or 4- inch rounds with a round cookie cutter. Place 1/4 teaspoon into the center of each round. Brush egg wash (on the bottom half of the round and fold over to seal. Fold back around your finger and turn down the edge to form a tortellini. In half a gallon of rapidly boiling salted water add the tortellini in batches. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove to a strainer to drain.
Fresh pasta:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
By Hand: On a clean surface make a well with the flour. In a measuring cup mix the eggs, water and oil and salt. Pour the wet mixture slowly into the flour and mix with your 2 fingers until all of the wet is incorporated. Do not force the dough to take all of the flour. If you are going to use a pasta machine to roll out the dough you may at this point form the dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to rest. If you going to roll this by hand you should knead the dough on a floured work surface for
8 to 10 minutes.
By food processor:
In the bowl of your food processor combine the flour and salt and pulse 2 to 3 times. In a liquid measuring cup whisk the eggs, water and oil. While pulsing the machine pour this mixture in a continuous stream and continue running the machine until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Follow directions above for hand rolling or machine.

or this simpler version…
Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus
fresh made tortellini OR…1 (16-to 20-ounces) package refrigerated, frozen, or dried cheese tortellini
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 large thyme sprigs
2 (2- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 bunch asparagus (3/4 lb) trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Boil broth with garlic, thyme, zest, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large heavy skillet until reduced to about 1 cup, about 6 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and zest. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (1 1/2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) according to package directions. Drain. Stir cornstarch into cream, then whisk into broth. Bring to a simmer, whisking, then continue to simmer 1 minute. Add asparagus and simmer until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese and tortellini and cook, gently stirring, until heated through.
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This entry was posted in chefs, entree, menu covers, National Food Holiday, pasta, recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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