I really try to eat as healthy as possible. Most of the times that is not very difficult for me, since I am a big fan of healthy food anyway. I love my veggies, legumes and quinoa and summer is my favorite time because of all the fruit that is in season. I make my own granola and always buy that rye bread but there is one thing where I am really not making any compromises. No matter how many times Hollywood stars and nutritionists are trying to tell me that carbs are the devil, I can´t live without pasta. It´s just too damn tasty. Tagliatelle, ravioli, lasagna or gnocchi, with fancy sauce or just sautéed in butter, pasta is definitely my food soulmate. Ever since I got a pasta machine, my love for pasta has grown even stronger. For daily purposes or when it has to be quick I use store bought pasta but every couple of weeks I get this urge to make pasta the good old fashioned way. It´s like meditation for me, I just love it.
Over the years I have gotten some experience regarding the making of pasta. Before I got Leonardo, I had to use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. With me not being the most patient person and the lack of arm muscles, most of the time the dough wasn’t thin enough and the pasta turned out rather thick in the end. It still tasted great but if you want to get that really professional looking pasta a pasta machine works wonders.
It is important to use the right flour when making pasta, otherwise it won´t turn out al dente but rather soft. I´m not quite sure if this is the same in other countries but from what I´ve heard, the best flour for pasta is flour type 00, which already has the perfect mixture between flour and semolina. Most local Italian shops have pasta flour otherwise you can try it at the supermarket or order it via internet.
This filling is a modification of the typical spinach-ricotta filling. The great thing about tortellini is that you can adapt them to your like, so whatever is in season and whatever is your favorite, go crazy and fill your pasta with it.
Notes to the recipe:
– It´s not that hard to make tortellini. All you have to do is place the filling in the middle of the circle, fold it over so you have a half moon and then fold it over again so the ends are connected. It sounds more complicated than it is and maybe I am not the best one to explain but just try it out and if it doesn’t work, make ravioli instead.
– Pasta is great for freezing. If you have some leftover dough just make some tagliatelle or spaghetti and throw them in the freezer. Then you can have your homemade pasta whenever you like, just throw it into boiling water and cook for a minute or two longer.
– Generally, 100 g of flour and 1 egg equals pasta for one person. If you want to make the pasta a little healthier just substitute half of the flour for spelt or whole wheat flour. I wouldn’t recommend substituting all of the flour though, otherwise the pasta won´t turn out that al dente.
Makes 3 servings:
300 g pasta flour
For the filling:
600 g chard
200 g goat cream cheese
1 garlic clove
50 g parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
1) Knead flour, eggs and salt until you have a shiny and slightly sticky dough. Let chill for half an hour. Using your pasta machine, roll out the dough, not until the last level though, otherwise the dough is too thin. Cut out circles.
2) Wash chard, chop onion and garlic clove. Heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic clove. Add chard and cook until it has collapsed. Squeeze chard in a sieve to get rid of all the liquid. Mix with goat cream cheese, parmesan cheese and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Be generous with the seasoning, it´s better to overseason the filling a little bit so the taste comes out stronger after it is cooked.
3) Place a little bit of the filling in the center of each circle. Fold over and push down the sides. Fold over again so the ends are touching. Heat water in a big pot, season with salt. Once it is boiling add tortellini and cook for 4-5 minutes. Serve tortellini with browned butter, sage and parmesan cheese.