Homemade Cheese Tortellini
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.