Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tortellini with Ricotta, Lemon & Sage Butter Sauce

Tortellini with Ricotta, Lemon & Sage Butter Sauce
This is a delicious starter or main, the Lemon & Ricotta is a wonderful combination that gives the dish a delicate fresh taste.  Delicious!

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
For the Pasta
170g 00 pasta flour
6 egg yolks
15ml cold water
7ml extra virgin olive oil
1g salt
Semolina for dusting (optional)
For the Filling
200g/7oz ricotta
30g grated parmesan
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
Freshly ground salt & pepper
1 egg, whisked to stick the pasta
For the sage & butter sauce
50g butter
Handful of sage
Parmesan, grated or in shavings


1.  For the pasta, pour the flour into a mound onto a flat surface and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, olive oil, water & salt into the well and gradually mix with either a blunt knife or a folk. When the dough has become a thick paste use your hands to incorporate more of the flour.
2.  You can sieve any remaining flour and use the sifted flour while you knead the dough to stop it sticking to the surface and to your hands, but be careful not to make the dough too dry. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Don't worry if you haven't used up all the flour.

3.  Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, for the filling, in a clean bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan and lemon zest well, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5.  Divide the fresh pasta into two and keep other portion wrapped in cling film while you roll and stuff that half. This prevents the pasta from drying out. Roll out the pasta into a long, wide strip about 1mm in thickness, either by hand or using a machine.

6.  Using a small wine glass or round cutter measuring about 7cm/3in across cut out circles of pasta.   Place a teaspoon of the ricotta filling in the centre of each pasta circle.  Brush the outside of the pasta with egg and the fold in half and pinch together the edges to make sure it is sealed and holds the filling.  Now bring the two edges of the pasta together and pinch so that they stick together. 

7.  They can be cooked straight away or stored in fine semolina for up to two hours. You can also freeze them at this stage and then cook them from frozen when you are ready.

8.  To cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and gently lower in the tortellini.  Cook for about four minutes or until the pasta is soft but not floppy.

9.  While the pasta is cooking make the sauce.  Put the sage leaves and butter into a frying pan and melt the butter taking care not to burn it. Add about a tablespoon of the pasta water and stir together to emulsify the sauce. Remove from the heat.

10.  When the pasta is done, drain it and toss with the sauce and add a good squeeze of lemon juice.  Serve immediately sprinkled with parmesan.


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