Have you ever tried Tortelli di Zucca e Amaretti (Pumpkin Tortelli)? If you have, you know already why we wanted absolutely to teach how to make them in one of our pasta workshops: they are absolutely delicious!! Tortelli or Tortelloni (a bigger version of the most known Tortellini) is just one of many types of filled pasta you can find all over Italy. These delicious creations consisted of rolled-out layers of very thin dough cut into small shapes, and stuffed with a tiny bit of ripieno (filling). Zucca and Amaretti is a traditional filling that comes from northern Italy, specifically from the province of Mantova. The recipe we propose is a free Pastamadre's interpretation, which tries to combine the northern and southern Italy tradition with ingredients usually available in Berlin.
INGREDIENTS for circa 16 tortelli (take our recipe as a suggestion and feel free to experiment and adjust ingredients and ratios to your taste!) For the dough:
250 gr wheat Durum flour (Semola di grano duro)
125 gr water
For the filling:
300 gr of steam cooked Hokkaido pumpkin
150 gr ground Parmiggiano
4 or 5 smashed Amaretti
a teaspoon of salt
a teaspoon of pepper
half teaspoon of ground muscat nut
a small piece of ground ginger
1 spoon soy sauce or vinegar balsamic
Blend all the ingredients together until you get a smooth consistency.
DIRECTIONS After preparing an elastic and malleable pasta dough, roll it out into a paper-thin sheets. Cut the sheet of pasta into squares roughly 5cm by 5cm. Place 1 teaspoon of pumpkin filling in the middle of each square of pasta. Dip your finger in water and run it along two edges of the square. Fold the square into a triangle, pressing the top together and then working your way along the sides. Fold the pocket of filling upward toward the peak of the triangle. Set the pocket of filling against the nail of your index finger and wrap the two corners around your finger. Press tightly to seal!
Toss with flour, set aside on well-floured baking sheet, and cover.
COOKING Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a tablespoon or two of salt. Lower the tortelli into the water a few at a time. Stir the pot occasionally to prevent the tortelli from sticking to the pot or each other. Cook until all the tortelli have bobbed to the surface of the water, about 5 minutes. Sautè the tortelli in butter (150 gr) adding a little bit of the pasta cooking water if they dry too much.
TIPS There are a few general things to keep in mind when it comes to making tortelli, that it's worth remembering:
Keep the pasta cover. Pasta dries out surprisingly quickly if left uncovered, which makes it difficult to work with and prone to tearing. Keep both the remaining pieces of dough, the rolled out sheets of pasta, and the shaped tortelli covered with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.
Don't over-stuff your pasta. More often than not, over-stuffing makes it tricky to seal the tortelli and leads to dumplings that burst in the cooking pot.
Use ample flour for dusting shaped tortelli. The shaped tortelli absorb rapidly the filling humidity, that makes them to stick to the tray and to each other. Be sure to keep both the tray and the tortelli dusted with a good amount of flour and don't let them touch once you've shaped them.
Freezing the tortelli. If not cooking the tortelli immediately, freeze them on a sheet pan and transfer to a freezer-safe container once solid. Tortelli will keep for about 3 months. Cook directly from the freezer, don't thaw them or they will stick.