ArcaMax Publishing's "Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency" (11/5/2014)
Notes from Wolfgang: Make this simple filled fresh pasta for a satisfying autumn dinner!
I love to eat pasta at any time of year. It's so comforting and delicious that it's a perfect food to enjoy when you want to have a relaxing, pleasurable meal, whether you're dining with friends or even eating it on your own.
That's one of the big reasons why I decided to call the first restaurant of my very own Spago, which literally means string in Italian, but is also slang for spaghetti. It captures the sense of good food and fun I love to offer my guests year round.
Autumn, though, always strikes me as an especially good time to cook and eat pasta. People want something warm and satisfying in their stomachs when the weather is colder and the nights are darker. This is a season for more robust pastas, especially fresh varieties of dough wrapped around savory fillings -- like ravioli and their many cousins.
That's why I'm delighted to share with you a recipe for one of my favorite fall pastas: Tortellini with Ricotta, Sage, and Brown Butter. The word tortellini in Italian literally means "little cakes," a nice description for these plump rounds of dough.
The pasta is fairly easy to make, fill and shape, though the job is better left for a weekend rather than a busy work night. In my recipe, you'll find complete instructions for mixing and rolling out your own fresh pasta dough; but you may also find sheets of fresh rolled-out dough in some Italian delis and well-stocked markets. Then, you mix up a simple filling based on ricotta cheese; line up mounds of filling along a sheet of dough; fold the dough over lengthwise to seal in the filling; cut out each individual piece around its filling in a half-moon shape, using half the circumference of a round cookie cutter; and, finally, gently seal together the two corners of each half-moon to give the tortellini their distinctive shapes.
Yes, that's a bit of work. But I think you'll find it simple and surprisingly enjoyable.
The sauce that goes with the pasta is a cinch to make. All you do is melt butter with salt, pepper and a sage leaf, just until the point that the butter turns golden brown; then, keep it warm. Once the tortellini are cooked, drained and plated, you sprinkle them with black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan, spoon the butter over them, and garnish with more sage.
I'm sure you'll agree with me that a plateful of this pasta looks, smells and tastes like autumn itself. From its deep, earthy and golden colors to the nutty flavor of the butter to the heady fragrance of sage, this is a dish that will make you think of more holiday celebrations soon to come.
First, make the dough.
For the filling, pulse the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan, mascarpone, egg yolk, sugar, nutmeg, salt & pepper in a food processor until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the sage & thyme.
In a bowl, combine the beaten egg and water for an egg wash. Brush a dough strip with some wash. For each tortellini, place 1-teaspoon mounds of filling on the dough in a single row, spacing them 2 inches (5 cm) apart and 1 inch (2.5 cm) from a long edge. Fold the uncovered half over the filling. Press down around each mound to seal it in close to the fold, pressing out any air pockets. With a 2-inch (5-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out half-moon shapes by cutting the curve through the sealed pasta, leaving the filling nestled along the straight fold. Then, gently curve each half-moon, pinching its corners together. Arrange on a parchment-lined, semolina-dusted baking sheet, then dust with more semolina. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and the sage leaf. Cook the butter until golden brown. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Add the tortellini to the boiling water. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to warmed serving plates. Grate fresh Parmesan on top and sprinkle generously with black pepper. Spoon the sauce over the tortellini. Garnish with sage and serve.
Pasta Dough: Makes about 3/4 pound
Ingredients Pasta Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large cage-free egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed (divided)
In a food processor, combine the flour, yolks, salt, oil and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water. Process until a dough forms. Pinch the dough: If it feels too dry, pulse in up to 1/2 tablespoon more water until a moist dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Secure a pasta roller. Cut the dough in half and cover 1 piece with plastic. Set the rollers to the largest opening. Flatten the uncovered dough into a thick strip the width of the rollers. Dust lightly with flour. Run the piece through the rollers. Fold it in thirds and run it through again. Repeat 2 or 3 more times until smooth and elastic.
Set the rollers to the next smaller opening; run the strip through. Continue, using a smaller opening each time and dusting lightly with flour as necessary, until you reach the next-to-smallest or smallest opening. (As the strip gets longer, you may need to cut it in half for easier handling, keeping unused dough covered.) Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover until ready to use.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (110g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 326 (83%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 36.2g||48 %|
|Saturated Fat 22.7g||113 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 9.4g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.4g|
|Cholesterol 151.6mg||47 %|
|Sodium 552.1mg||19 %|
|Potassium 125.1mg||3 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 3.6g||1 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.2g||1 %|
|Sugars, other 3.5g|
|Protein 13.8g||20 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 391
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