It’s starting to feel a lot like primavera, spring, and so today’s recipe is the ideal fresh pasta dish to welcome in the longer, lighter days. These beautiful parcels of tortelli are perfect when paired with a simple sage butter sauce. Their vibrant green colour comes from the fresh spinaci used in the pasta dough, infusing these tasty morsels with all of the health-giving properties that this superfood has to offer! One of chef Roberta’s favourite things to make at this time of year, she has honed this delicious recipe over the years so it has been tried and tested to perfection!
Make our delicious tortelli verdi
Prep Time: 1½ hours
Calories per serving: 1128 kcal
For the pasta:
- 300g “00” flour
- 200g semola di grano duro (durum wheat flour)
- 2 eggs
- 200g fresh spinach, boiled and puréed
For the filling:
- 300g ricotta cheese
- 100g Pecorino, grated
- Pinch nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Making the pasta sheet for your tortelli is very simple and we’ve outlined the process in the steps below. We also have a helpful video guide if you’d like to follow along with Roberta as she makes fresh pasta dough from scratch. Just don’t forget to add your spinach to the flour and egg so that you get the vibrant green colour!
For the pasta
Making the dough
- Boil your spinach for a couple of minutes until wilted, remove from the heat and drain, squeezing out as much water as you can before puréeing it so that it forms a green paste.
- Make a mound with your flour on a wooden board or clean work surface. Then make a well in the centre to form a crater-like shape.
- Crack the eggs into the centre and, with a fork, start whisking to combine flour and egg, slowly incorporating more and more of the flour from the edges of the crater as you go until you’re left with a thick mixture.
- Add the spinach paste to this flour and egg mixture and combine.
- At this stage the mixture becomes too sticky for the fork so we recommend using your hands (or a dough scraper if you have one) to incorporate the rest of the flour.
- Form the mixture into a ball of dough and begin kneading it.
Kneading the dough
- To knead, drag the dough forward with your palm, using the other hand to hold it steady. Then pull the stretched dough back over, turn it around and start again. Repeat this process until you’re left with a firm, smooth consistency.
- We recommend 10-20 minutes of kneading to create a nice elastic dough. A good way of checking if you’ve kneaded the dough well is to press your finger into the centre. As you lift your finger away, the dough should spring back up.
Resting the dough
- Wrap the dough in a tea towel (a more sustainable alternative to cling film) and set aside to rest for about 20-30 minutes at room temperature. This is a good time to prepare the filling for your tortelli.
Rolling the dough
- Once rested, unwrap the dough and divide it into two pieces. Cover one half with the tea towel to keep it from drying out and set aside. Press the remaining piece of dough into a flat circle using your hands. Next, take a rolling pin or matterello and begin rolling out the dough to create a thin sheet. This will take a little while if you’re doing it by hand, so if you have a pasta machine now is the moment to put it to use, however this is not by any means an essential piece of kit!
- When your pasta sheet, called a sfoglia, is ready, you should be able to see your hand through it.
Shaping the tortelli
- Lay your first pasta sheet flat on a clean surface and trim the ends so you have a neat rectangular shape.
- Cut your sheet into squares, about 2” by 2”, and place a small amount of filling in the middle of each square.
- Dab a tiny bit of water around the edge of each filled square, so that when you seal the tortelli the pieces stay closed.
- Fold each square in half over the top of the filling to form a triangle shape. Gently push out any air bubbles trapped inside and seal the triangles.
- Take each triangle and place the end of the spoon against the filling and fold two corners of the triangle around the handle of the spoon to form a ring. Press them together with your fingers so that the tortelli is well sealed and none of the filling can escape.
Cooking the tortelli
- Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil. Carefully place your homemade tortelli into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with a sage butter sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano!
For the filling
- Combine the ricotta cheese and the grated pecorino in a large bowl.
- Mix the cheeses together and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
- When ready, spoon the mixture evenly onto your pasta squares.