Homemade Cheese Tortellini starts with great homemade pasta. This homemade cheese tortellini is filled with ricotta, Parmesan and fresh spinach. Serve with pasta sauce of your choice, or Italian style in brodo (broth). This is a step-by-step guide to making the perfect dough and turning it into tortellini.

A closeup of cheese tortellni
A large pan with homemade cheese tortellini ready to be cooked

There’s nothing better than fresh pasta and when it’s right, it’s soft and just melts in your mouth.

It is really not as difficult to make as it seems and when you’re done, you feel proud that you made something from scratch that the Italians have been doing for centuries.

Making homemade pasta dough

The dough is just 2 ingredients, eggs and flour. Working right on the kitchen counter, start with a mound of flour and  make a well for the eggs.

A mound of flour with eggs in the center

Then using a fork, start to beat the eggs incorporating a little flour with each movement. Use your other hand to keep the liquid from spilling outside of the flour mound.

Using a fork to mix eggs into flour

When the egg is no longer liquid, start adding a little water, you can start using your hands to mix. Only add enough water so the dough sticks and forms a ball.

Start to knead the dough using the palm of your hand for about 3 minutes until smooth and not sticky or dry.

When the dough has been kneaded for 3 minutes it should be soft and smooth, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.

Running pasta dough through a pasta maker

After the dough has rested, cut off a 1/4 piece and shape into a rectangle with your hands. With your pasta machine on the largest setting (usually 1) run the dough through 2 or 3 times.

Turn to the next narrowest setting and repeat. As the dough gets longer, help the dough out of the bottom of the machine and spread out so it doesn’t stick to itself. Repeat this process until you’re at the narrowest setting and the dough is thin. This is number 4 on my machine.

Making tortellini

Lay the dough out on a floured surface and using a 2-inch (5 cm) cookie cutter, cut out circles and lay out on a floured surface.

Shaping tortellini pasta

Using the egg wash, brush the half of the round nearest to you. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture into the center. Fold the edge closest to you over the filling to meet the other side, press to seal the edge.

Take the left and right corners and twist them around to meet each other, stick them together using a dab of egg wash with your finger. You just made your first tortellino (that’s  what you call 1 tortellini).

Homemade Cheese Tortellini lined up on a board
How do you cook tortellini?

Tortellini is boiled in water and is ready when they float to the top. This is a very quick cooking time when the pasta is fresh.

Can you freeze tortellini?

Pre-cooked tortellini freeze very well. To freeze without them sticking together, lay them out on a small baking sheet without touching, and place them in the freezer for 1 hour before transferring to a ziptop bag.

Serving tortellini

You can toss simply in marinara sauce, pesto, add to chicken soup or make Tortellini with Peas and Pepper.

This recipe yields 60 tortellini.

Yield: 60 tortellini

Cheese Tortellini

A closeup of a cheese tortellini

This is a step-by-step guide to making the perfect dough and homemade cheese tortellini.

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 37 minutes


  • For the dough:
  • 3 1/3 cups (519 grams) all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (75 ml) olive oil
  • For the filling:
  • 8 ounces (250 grams) fresh ricotta
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Small pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash


  1. To make the dough:
  2. On a clean work surface, make a mound with the flour and create a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil. This can also be done in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Using a fork, beat the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour from the inner rim of the mound, making sure the mound stays intact with the other hand. The dough will start to come together. Start to drizzle in 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup (about 50 ml) water. You may not use it all, you just need to dough moist enough to come together in a ball. You can use your hands at this point. The dough should stay together, not be dry and not be to sticky to handle.
  4. Knead for about 3 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  5. Once the dough is nice and soft and smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap, making sure it is well wrapped so no areas of the dough dry out. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
  6. To make the filling:
  7. To a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside.
  8. Directions for using a pasta maker:
  9. Dust your work surface with flour. Cut a 1/4 piece of the dough, keep the unused portion of the dough well covered until ready to use ( If you are not using the rest of the dough, wrap it well and freeze) Flatten the piece of dough with your hands into a small rectangle in preparation for passing through a pasta machine.
  10. With your pasta machine on the widest setting (usually 1), pass the dough through 2 or 3 times, guiding with your hands as it comes out, keeping it flat. If the dough gets sticky, dust with flour.
  11. Reduce the setting by 1 until you get to 4 (which on my machine is the perfect thickness).
  12. Directions for using a rolling pin:
  13. Dust your work surface with flour. Cut a 1/4 piece of the dough, keep the unused portion of the dough well covered until ready to use (If you are not using the rest of the dough, wrap it well and freeze) Flatten the piece of dough with your hands into a small rectangle. Roll the dough as thin as possible (but not so that it will break when filled).
  14. Once you have your dough to the right thickness, use a 2 inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter or drinking glass and cut out circles.
  15. Brush half of the edges of the rounds closest to you with the egg wash. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture to the center of each. Fold the egg wash half of the circle over the ricotta to meet the other side. Bring the corners around to the bottom to meet and stick them together using egg wash.
  16. On an empty shelf of your freezer, spread out parchment paper and put the tortellini in a single layer, without touching and freeze for 1 hour. This makes them easy to handle and they wont stick together.
  17. Transfer the tortellini to a freezer bag or container and either store them in the freezer, or if you are using them right away, cook in simmering water until they float to the top, about 5-7 minutes and serve with your favorite sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 374Total Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gCarbohydrates 38g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.