If I should choose any food that I must eat everyday for the rest of my life, well, it's definitely Tortellini!
They are typical of my hometown, Bologna (actually my "home-province" lol) so I've been eating them since I was very, very little...I never get tired of them and I could never live without eating them! :D
I am writing this instructable to teach you how to make tortellini from scratch!
It may take some time to make them, but believe me, it's worth it...
You can't compare these homemade tortellini to the already made ones. I am sure you know what I mean if you taste them!
ps: these are the original Tortellini Emiliani. You can call them tortellini because of this filling. The ones with a different kind of filling have a different name.
Step 1: IngredientsFor the dough:
First of all prepare the filling.
Unfortunately I have no pictures for this but it's very easy to make:
grind your pork loin with mortadella and prosciutto at least 3 times.
Add the eggs and parmesan then a little bit of nutmeg and salt.
Mix everything and you are done!
Taste it to make sure that it's alright, you may need to add more salt.
Now put it aside for a while.
Prepare your flour on a table (or in a bowl, if you prefer), make a hole in the middle of the "fountain" and add your 5 eggs to it and a little bit of olive oil. Just like I said in the Lasagne recipe, oil will make the egg pasta more elastic.
Start to mix everything using a fork then incorporate the rest of the flour with your hands.
Keep mixing until your dough becomes smooth and homogeneous.
Now you need to work with a little quantity of dough at a time, so cut a piece and cover the rest with a bowl, so that it won't dry.
Pass your piece of dough through the largest level of your pasta machine.
You may need to pass it more than once at first to give a better shape to it.
Gradually pass it through the other levels to make it thinner and thinner, until you reach the penultimate one (6th one).
Pass it through that one twice.
Of course, dust with flour whenever your dough gets sticky.
Now you have a long rectangle of pasta!
Cut it in many little squares with a knife, about 4cm (1.57 inches) large.
They don't have to be perfect so don't worry about it.
It's time to take your filling now!
Put a little piece of filling on all your squares.
The more you put, the harder closing them will be, so it's better if you start with a little quantity.
Just try it, then you will understand what the best quantity will be for you! :)
I tend to put as much filling as possible because I like to taste it when I eat them lol :D
Now I will try to explain how to close them properly to give them the right shape:
take one of your squares with the filling on it.
Close the square joining 2 opposite angles together. This way you will create a triangle.
Press its sides to secure them.
Leave the middle angle of the triangle on top and join the sides angles together, bringing them in front of the "belly" of the tortellino :)
The tradition is to pass them around your index finger while you close them, or even better, around the pinky! This way the hole will be smaller.
Press them too to secure.
I hope the pictures make it clear in case my explanation makes no sense :D
A tortellino is done! But you will have to make many more now... :D
Don't worry, you will get faster as you get used to it!
Once you have finished to close all your squares, take another piece of dough, pass it through the pasta machine, cut squares and make new tortellini!
Hint: place them on a cardboard tray so that they won't stick to the container.
Step 5: Don't want to cook them right away?
If you don't cook them that same day, put the tray in a freezer for a few minutes, until your tortellini get cold enough to be stored inside a plastic bag.
Once they are there you can keep them for many days (even weeks) and cook them whenever you want!
I usually organize a day to make many, this way I have plenty and can eat them whenever I need to eat them :D
Tradition here is to eat tortellini in a good meat broth...but you can actually eat them in many different ways!
Anyhow, I always recommend cooking them in a simple broth even if you will eat them with a sauce. Broth will preserve the filling's taste.
Oh and by the way, as soon as they come up it means that they are ready! So don't cook them too much, it takes just a few minutes!
Enjoy your tortellini!!