Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Three Cheese Tortellini with Pancetta Sweet Peas and Mint

Fresh homemade tortellini with a three cheese filling and served with pancetta, sweet peas and mint.

How do you make tortellini? The method is pretty simple, but a little time consuming. Prepare your dough in long paper-thin sheets, using a Kitchenaid pasta roller’s settings 1-6. Cut 2”-3” squares from the pastry sheet using a stainless steel dough scraper. Wet two sides, add the filling and fold over the filling to form a triangle. Make sure you get all the air out or your tortellini will explode in the boiling water. Fold the sides into the center and the top can be folded over the front or the back or just leave it up. Dust with semolina flour. You should have 4 sheets and roughly 32-40 tortellini when your done. Serves 4-5 

If you are not going to cook all of them they can be frozen, just freeze in a single layer, then transfer to sealable freezer bags for long term storage.

Filing Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, strained
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Zest from half of a lemon or lime
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Semolina flour for dusting

Tortellini Ingredients:

2 swirls around the pan of extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz pancetta, finely diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, sliced
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh peas, or frozen if fresh is unavailable
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
20 fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2+ freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Filing Directions:

Strain ricotta cheese in a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl for at least an hour to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the goat cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest, egg, salt and pepper; using a silicone spatula fold to combine and then fill a pastry bag. Make your tortellinis per above instructions. Remember to get the air out before you fold the sides in and dust with semolina flour when you are finished.

Sauce Directions:

In a large skillet over med/high heat add the olive oil. When oil is simmering add in the pancetta and cook until it is crispy, about 3 minutes. Add in the butter, shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. If using fresh peas add them with a 1/2 of hot water, otherwise, frozen peas do not need water. Add peas and stir until they are bright green and tender. Remove from heat, taste for adding salt and pepper and set aside while your cooking the pasta.

In a large pot of boiling water seasoned with salt add the tortellini and stir to prevent them from sticking together. They are done when they rise to the top of the water, about 3-4 minutes. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Return the skillet with the pancetta to the heat and add some of the pasta water just to thin the sauce, then the tortellini and lemon or lime juice. Toss gently to combine making sure you don’t break apart the pasta. Transfer to a plate, season with salt and pepper, if needed and garnish with the mint leaves and grated cheese. Serve hot. Yum Yum!

PS: I want to thank Sur la Table for the pasta class and this wonderful recipe.

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