By Angela Hartnett
Angela Hartnett guides you through making tortellini from scratch in this clear, step-by-step recipe.
Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a generous main course Ready in about 2½ hours
- For the stock
- 2 carrots, washed and diced
- 1 celery stick, washed and diced
- 1 small leek, washed and diced
- 6 peppercorns
- For the pasta
- Pinch of saffron strands
- 300g ’00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks
- For the pasta filling
- 450g piece French chevre blanc log (goat’s cheese), rind removed
- 2 large eggs
- Good handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 20g Parmesan, grated
- For the butter sauce
- 150g freshly shelled peas or frozen peas, thawed
- 150g freshly shelled broad beans or frozen broad beans, thawed
- 100g butter, cut into small cubes
- Small bunch of fresh mint, leaves finely shredded
- 50g Parmesan, grated
How to make goat’s cheese tortellini
Make a vegetable stock
1. Simmer the vegetables and peppercorns in 1 litre of boiling water for 1 hour. Strain into a clean, wide pan, return to the heat and boil to reduce to about 250ml. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, place the saffron in a cup with 1 tablespoon boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
Angela’s tip: the saffron water gives the pasta a lovely yellow colour, rather than flavour. The longer you leave it to infuse, the stronger the colour – we let it infuse overnight.
Make the pasta dough
1. Put the flour, a good pinch of salt and olive oil into a food processor, then strain in the saffron water. Beat the whole eggs with 3 of the yolks in a bowl, add to the processor and mix until it begins to bind together. When it looks like breadcrumbs, feel the mixture – it should feel slightly sticky.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, gather it into a ball and knead with the heel of your hand for a few minutes, until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Make the tortellini filling
3. Meanwhile, crumble the goat’s cheese into a large bowl, add the eggs, parsley and Parmesan and season with plenty of black pepper – you won’t need any salt. Using an electric hand whisk, cream it all together. Spoon into a disposable piping bag and chill. Take out of the fridge 10 minutes before using. Roll out the pasta dough
4. Cut the dough into quarters, put one quarter onto a lightly floured surface, and cover the rest with a clean, damp cloth to prevent it drying out. Shape the dough into a rectangle, flattening it with your hands so it fits through the pasta machine rollers. Lightly flour the pasta machine rollers, then feed the dough through on the widest setting and onto the floured surface. Continue to feed through the machine, reducing the width of the roller each time, until you are on the narrowest setting – the pasta should be almost see-through. Cover with the damp cloth and repeat with the remaining dough to give you 4 long strips.
Angela’s tips: work quickly with the pasta so it doesn’t dry out. If it gets too wide, trim the edges off. You can re-use the trimmings, if you like.
Assemble the tortellini
5. Using a 9cm plain, round cutter, stamp out 10-12 circles from each pasta strip. Discard the trimmings. Beat the remaining egg yolk with some water. Working with a few circles at a time (cover the rest with a damp cloth), brush half of each circle with the egg.
6. Pipe a dessertspoonful of filling in the centre of a circle. Fold the sides over the filling to make a semi-circle, and press the edges together to seal.
7. Pick up each piece, so the straight edge is away from you. With your thumbs underneath, carefully roll the right edge of pasta around your little finger and down towards the left edge. Pinch the edges to seal. Put on a tray dusted with flour. Repeat, to make about 45 tortellini.
Blanch the pasta in boiling water, a few at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a tray lined with cling film. Cover with cling film and chill until ready to serve – up to 24 hours.
Make the butter sauce
8. Blanch the peas and beans in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and plunge into iced water. Remove the skins from the broad beans, if you like. Return the stock to a high heat, add the butter and melt. Stir in the peas and beans, boil for 1 minute, then add the mint and Parmesan.
Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Add half the tortellini and cook for 2 minutes, until they rise to the surface. Drain with a slotted spoon and divide between warmed plates. Cook the rest. Ladle a few spoonfuls of butter sauce over each plate.
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