Tony Soprano’s Homemade Tortellini

It’s only to be expected that after 2 months of back to back episodes of the entire Soprano’s box set that I would have an urge to i) kill people and ii) eat pasta. Lots and lots of pasta. To stem the murderous rage coarsing through my body, I bought a very pretty pasta maker to gorge myself into a tortellini coma instead.
Making pasta is simple. All you need is 250g of 00 Flour and 3 eggs.
iPhone pre Glasto 2338On a clean work surface, make a well in the centre of the flour and crack the 3 eggs into the middle. Using a fork, gently blend the flour into the eggs. Persevere with the gooey mess until you can just about grab hold of it and begin pulling it together with your hands. It was at this point I found my dough to be very dry so I wet my hands and began kneading to pull together a soft dough ready to go through the pasta machine. I had quite a big ball of pasta so cut it into 4 before putting it through the machine. I put the roller setting on the largest size to begin with and made it smaller for every time I passed the pasta dough through. I didn’t want to make it too thin as in my experience of eating it, tortellini is quite sturdy.
iPhone pre Glasto 2344Once all of the pasta is rolled out you have to work quite quickly before it dries out and becomes too hard to shape. I was quite wrapped up and excited with the pasta making process that I hadn’t really put too much thought into the filling. So I went for spinach, ricotta and pancetta.
iPhone pre Glasto 2346 In a small amount of boiling water, wilt two big handfuls of fresh spinach. After draining it in a colander, try and get rid of the excess water. If the filling is too wet it will seep from the tortellini – I used a tea saucer to push down on the spinach in the colander and squeeze out the water. Mix this thoroughly with 125g (half a tub) of ricotta and 60g of freshly fried, crispy pancetta and season well. Take the rolled pasta and use a sharp knife to slice into relatively even squares of about 4cm by 4cm. Use a ruler if you want to be really precise. Use a teaspoon to put a small amount of filling onto the centre of each pasta square and bring together the diagonal corners and lightly pinch the open sides shut. Take the remaining two corners (bottom of the triangle now) and pinch them together. They should look a little like the picture on the left.
Place in boiling water for about 3 minutes until all of the pasta pieces have floated to the surface. Whilst these cook, pan fry a couple of sage leaves in a frying pan with butter and drizzle of the drained and plated pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan, naturally.
iPhone pre Glasto 2349
FYI, this was my first ever attempt at making pasta, so be kind.

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