The recipe is long enough ( about 5 hours), and we should keep the focus…too many words are not necessary. Maybe though, just a few notes (or a disclaimer?!) about what went well, and what went wrong… We followed the recipe in the magazine every step of the way, but you know, along the way on a Sunday afternoon with kids, it’s easy to get distracted. So first of all, thank you for your patience! We know it is not easy to follow when there are two screaming little creatures on and off screen, but we did our best to keep it tight and somehow entertaining, even if there is a very decent amount of background noise in this episode.Two Mistakes, one Big and One small.
– I read 4 Cups of water instead of 4 Quarters. And it did seem strange. So I read it again, and it still called for 4 Cups. I went with my guts and I used 8 Cups in the beginning, and at the end I added an extra 2 before cooking the Tortellini. This morning, when I got the magazine back in my hands to write this post…oh well, it says, clearly, 4 Quarters. Ops.
– Also I did realize that I did not use the Egg in the filling…but its consistency was good, so I did not think about double-checking.
On the other side, the amount of Flour indicated in the magazine was really a bit too much…or maybe they just had bigger eggs then me?
About the Tortellini
– When you start rolling them and closing them: The First Ten Do Not Count. Do not get overwhelmed; they will keep on looking better, as you warm up your fingers to it.
– You should cook, in the order: Broth, Filling and then the Pasta…by the time you have done rolling the dough, you will be probably in need of some wine to cure your back that is starting to cramp. Sit the Dough to rest for a half hour, then DO THE SAME; fill your glass and crush for a bit.
Serves: 6 / Prep time: 25 minutes / Cook time: 4 1/2 – 5 hours
- 1 Lb Beef Brisket
- 1 Whole Chicken, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 Large white onion
- 3 Carrots (2 of them for bonus recipe)
- 3 Celery Stalks
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 4 Quarters of Water (16 Cups)
- 2 ½ Cups Unbleached all-purpose Flour or Grano Tenero “0” or “00” Flour
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 Oz Pork Loin or Shoulder, cut into small cubes
- ½ White Onion
- 3 Oz of Prosciutto Cotto (or Ham)
- ½ Cup of Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- ¼ Cup of Dry White Wine
- 5 Fresh Sage Leaves
- 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Egg (Optional)
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1Chop the Onion, the Celery and one Carrot, sauté in Olive Oil to prepare the Soffritto, on a medium-high flame.
2Combine the remaining ingredients, cover with Water and bring to a boil.
3Lower the flame to a gentle simmer and cook for about 4 Hours.
4Strain twice, first through a fine mesh sieve, then through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Let broth cool. It can be refrigerated for three days and frozen up to 3 months.
1In a large non-stick pan, sauté the onion in the Olive Oil, then add the Pork cut in small cubes. Increase heat and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the White Wine and cook until it evaporates, for about 5 minutes more.
2Set aside and let cool off, then transfer the meat in a mixer; leave behind the rosemary that is too bitter and the onions that are too wet…leave some of the sage.
3Add the Prosciutto and pulse until mixture is very finely chopped but not pureed to a paste.
4Transfer filling to a bowl. Add the cheese and the egg lightly beaten if you’d like to use it…it helps make a softer and fluffier filling, but depending on how the pork came out of the pan, it can turn out to bee too wet for including it in the pasta, Be Careful.
1On a clean work surface mound the Flour; create a well in the center. Add Eggs, Oil and a generous pinch of Salt. Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from the inside rim of the well.
2Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead until dough forms a complete mass.
3Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes more.
4Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
5Divide dough into 3 pieces. Roll pieces into sheets, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut Sheets into 1 ½ inch squares (keep dough, sheets and squares covered with a clean dish towel while cutting and rolling to avoid drying). Place about ½ teaspoon filling in center of each square.
6Fold triangles, with one top point slightly further than the other. Press any air from around the filling, then press to seal edges ( a drop of cold water can be used to help seal edges if necessary).
7Fold Base of the triangle to create a cuff, then bring points of long side together to form a fairly tight ring. Press to seal.
8Keep Tortellini covered with a clean dishtowel until ready to cook. Tortellini can be prepared 3 days ahead and refrigerated, or frozen up to 3 months. Freeze while laying on a baking sheet so they won’t stick together, then transfer them to a well sealed, airtight plastic freezer bag, and keep frozen until ready to cook. Do not defrost before cooking, just keep them boiling in the broth for a couple of minutes more.
9Bring the broth to a gentle boil (avoid a rolling boil, which may cause the pasta to open up). Carefully drop the tortellini, in batches, into the broth and cook until they rise to the surface; then for 1 ½ minutes longer for pasta made with all-purpose flour. If using tortellini made with Grano Tenero flour, cook only for ½ minute after they rise to the surface.
10Serve the tortellini in deep bowls, floating in their broth.
BONUS RECIPE – Angel Hair Chicken Soup
There is always a quite abundant leftover of broth, after you have done with your Tortellini.
And a lot of great White Meat can be cleaned out of your boiled chicken.
1Save both in the fridge, and add the remaining two carrots chopped in halves lengthwise and then in three or four pieces.
2Re-Heat the broth, the carrots and the chicken, while in a different pot boil some salted water for the Angel Hair pasta…or whatever small size pasta you’d like….even Egg Noodles.
3When ready, strain the pasta and add it to the chicken soup and serve in a bowl.
Debi and Gabriele