DIY Cheese Tortellini

How would you feel if I told you you could make your own cheese tortellini with 4 simple ingredients? With lent season starting today, and my choice on cutting on meat, I have no choice but to start looking for great vegetarian recipes again. This cheese tortellini is definitely going up on my list! The original recipe was for a lobster tortellini, which - you know - I'll HAVE to try out. But in the meantime, let's start small shall we? ;)

Now, I must warn you that this does take a while (i.e. approximately 2 hours) if you don't have a pasta maker (that's definitely on my next wish list!!). In the meantime, get ready to use those muscles, because you're in for a delicious ride! :)

Note: This is a great recipe if you're just starting with pasta making. It definitely put me in the mood to start making all my pasta from scratch!

Step 1. Make the pasta dough

All you need for this pasta dough recipe is flour and water. Yes. That's it. Trust me on this one. So, for about 5 good portions of tortellini, use:
  •  3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour (feel free to play around with those, I would suggest keeping the ratio at max a half and half, but that's for you to experiment). To this, add 1/2 a cup of warm water and mix.
  • Add warm water to this mix - one tbsp at a time - until all the dry flour has been absorbed. Knead this ball of dough for about 10 minutes (it should be stiff for you to knead), or until you get a nice smooth ball that's not too sticky, but not too dry either. You'll see what I mean as you do it. Don't be shy and give it a try :)
  • Once that's done, wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 1 hour. That'll give time for the glutens to rest so you get a nice elastic dough.
Step 2. Make your cheese filling
  • For the amount of dough you made, you'll need about half a box of ricotta cheese (I picked the traditional kind because I wanted to be on the safe side - I'm not a ricotta expert) and about a tablespoon of fresh cut parsley. C and I are not big fans of parsley's strong taste, but still wanted to add a little something to the cheese. Feel free to add more if you like :)
  • Mix well in a bowl and let it rest in the fridge until your dough is ready.
Step 3. Make the tortellini - yay!

Oook. Now comes the fun part! First tip I'll give you: work with small portions of your dough - it'll be long, but it'll be much less work on your arms. Make sure you leave the rest of your dough wrapped in plastic so it doesn't dry out while you're working your dough.

Honestly, This is a faster - and funner - process if there's two of you: 1 person rolls the dough and 1 person rolls the tortellini, but that's up to you and how much time you have. 

A. Take a piece of your dough and roll it out on a flouered surface. Make sure it's as thin as possible so your pasta doesn't turn out too thick once cooked, making you miss out on the amazing filling.

B. Using a circular cookie cutter (not too big, not too small, depending on the size you want to make your tortellini), cut circles in your rolled out dough. Apologies for not having a picture for this step, but I think you get the gist of it. Make sure to use the scraps with new dough so that it doesn't crumble the next time you use it!

C. Lay out your cut circles and a little over a quarter of a teaspoon of your cheese-parsley mix to the center.

D. Dab the borders of your circle with water and fold in half. Make sure you press close to the cheese to remove the air in there.

E. Press the cheese up toward the border using your thumb.

F. Twist the two corners towards each other and secure. Place your finished product on a cookie sheet. Play around with the twist and see what they look like! Twisting in different directions will make them look different, but they all have the same delicious taste! :)

From this point on, you have two options:
  1. Freeze them for later. If you're going to do that, make sure they're not touching each other on your cookie sheet and freeze them flat for about half an hour, then transfer them into a freezer bag and save for later. Once you're ready to eat, take them out of the freezer and boil for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until they float to the top - about a dozen at a time, depending on the size of your pot.
  2. Make them fresh! How can you resist?? In this case, boil for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top - about a dozen at a time, depending on the size of your pot.
We couldn't resist and had to try it out for supper! So we cooked them and made a simple rosé sauce! :) Quite impressed with ourselves I must say. Now, I have to spend a full day making those for the days we just won't feel like cooking!

Not only are they delicous, but they're also cheap to make! Enjoy it to the last bit and have fun with different fillings. Next stop, LOBSTER! :)

- CK
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