Tortellini are a particular kind of stuffed pasta with a unique shape that can be easily recognized. They are originally from the central Italian region of Emilia Romagna and are typically stuffed with meat or cheese and usually served in broth.
Although during the years the variants of the stuffing grew along with the condiments. So you can easily find tortellini stuffed with all kind of meat and vegetables and served with ragù (ground meat in tomato sauce), cream, or any other kind of condiment.
I decided to make tortellini stuffed with ricotta cheese and chestnut champignons which are very delicate yet flavorful and accompanied with a leek , cream and prosciutto sauce. If the stuffing is delicate the sauce must be delicate as well otherwise it would overwhelm the flavor.
The Chestnut Champignon is a light-brown variant of the classic white champignon; it has a sligthly nutty and more intense flavor. The flesh is firmed than that of the white mushroom but it cooks in the same way and time.
If you can’t find chestnut champignons at your local supermarket, you can also use the classic white kind for this recipe, although the overall flavor will be much more delicate.
- 150g (1 cup) All Purpose Flour
- 50g (1/2 cup) Semolina flour
- 125g (1/2 cup) Ricotta cheese
- 200g (1+1/2 cups) Chestnut Champignons
- 2 cloves of garlic
- EVO Oil
- Salt, Pepper
- Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Leek
- 100g (2/3 cup) cooked Ham in cubes
- 100ml (1/2 cup) Cream
- EVO Oil
- Salt, Pepper
- First you need to make the pasta: Mix the flours and make a "mountain" on a large cutting board or inside a large bowl; with your hands dig a hole in the top and add the eggs inside: this is called a fountain.
- With the fork whisk the eggs and slowly add a little bit of flour at a time. When most of the flour is mixed with the eggs and you have a sticky dough, it's time to get your hands dirty.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until you get a smooth and non-sticky ball (if necessary add a little bit more flour during the kneading).
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rest while you prepare the stuffing.
- Cut the mushrooms in slices and sauté in a large pan with 2 cloves of garlic and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper and turn them once they are brown. When they are brown on both sides, remove them from heat and let them cool down.
- Add the cooled mushrooms in a blender and add the ricotta cheese, then season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
- Whiz a couple of times until the mushrooms are minced; you don't want a smooth cream. Set aside.
- Now it's time to roll the dough into a thin sheet (about 0.6 mm) and cut it into squares about 7x7cm.
- With a teaspoon place a small amount of filling in the center of the squares, wet with a little water the edges and fold it on its diagonal line to get a triangle. Press well the edges to close tha pasta so the stuffing won't come out. Now the difficult part: Fold the long side (with the filling) over once and close the tails on the front, such as clapping hands (wet slightly if necessary to help them stick).
- Place the tortellini on a clean towel to rest while your prepare the leek sauce.
- Before you make the sauce fill a large pot with water and set it to high heat.
- Cut the leek in thin slices and fry then in olive oil until they starts to brown, then add a little bit of water, turn the heat to low and cook until the leek becomes tender.
- When the water evaporated, add the cream and the diced cooked ham to the leeks. Season with salt and pepper and keep it to the lowest heat.
- Now the water should be boiling, so adjust it with salt then throw in gently the tortellini.
- Boil the pasta for about 2-3 minutes than drain them and add them to the sauce.
- Add a ladle of pasta water to the sauce if necessary.