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Pasta Recipe: Handmade Meat Tortellini

Pasta is one of those foods we would never have dreamed of making ourselves, but we tried it and discovered that it’s absolutely possible. While we love going to Italian restaurants and trying the variety of different dishes, it’s great to know that we can achieve some of that greatness in our own kitchens! (Cue: patting self on the back.) Tortellini are a typical Italian pasta that are little pockets filled with cheese or meat. While they look complicated to make, assembling them is actually super simple and creating the meat filling is a breeze.

While you might think of tortellini as being relatively specific in terms of what you can do with it–pasta, pasta, and more pasta–you can also use it in soups, as they are light bites, bursting with flavor. Whatever ends up on the menu, making your own pasta is fun, tastes amazing and will give you a huge sense of (well-earned) accomplishment. Revel in it and buon appetito!

Beef Tortellini

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Pasta Dough:

  • 4-41/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Filling:

  • 4 oz. ground beef
  • 4 oz. ground lamb
  • 4 oz. ground pork
  • 4 oz. ground turkey
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat and add ground meats. Cook until browned on all sides.
  2. Drain fat and remove from heat. Place in food processor and add egg and cheese. Pulse to combine.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and pulse again. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. On a clean, flat surface, make a large mound with 4 cups of your flour. Create a deep well in the middle of it and eggs, oil, and salt.
  5. Use a fork to break down the eggs and combine with the oil and, once incorporated, slowly start adding in flour from the outer mound.
  6. Continue to add in all the flour until a shaggy, sticky dough comes together.
    Note: if dough is too wet, add more flour; if too dry, add 1-2 teaspoons water. Dust workstation with flour as you work.
  7. Knead dough with the palms of your hands for about 15 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  9. When ready, roll dough out and begin feeding it through a pasta machine, starting on the 1st setting and going to the 9th.
  10. As dough comes out of machine, catch it on the backs of your hands, fold it over itself in half and feed it through the same setting again, before moving to the next setting.
    Note: if you don’t have a pasta machine, just roll dough out as thinly as you can and go from there.
  11. Using a sharp knife or a pasta cutter/pizza roller, cut dough into 1 1/2-2-inch squares and fill each one with 3/4-1 teaspoon of beef filling.
  12. Fold 1 corner diagonally over to the corner across from it and press to seal, then seal down the edges of the triangle.
  13. Take the 2 corners of the tortellini and fold them up to meet each other, pressing to adhere. You should have a triangle of pasta, the corners of which connect to make a little circle.
  14. Let pasta sit for 25 minutes to dry, then cook in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until tortellini float to the surface.

Recipe adapted from Italian Foods Recipes

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