Tortellini looks complicated to make, but really it's quite simple! Here we'll show you how to make your own at home, plus a recipe for a classic sauce: "Panna, Prosciutto e Piselli."
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For the tortellini, you will need:
- 25g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 150g (5 1/3 oz.) pork tenderloin, cubed
- 50g (1 3/4 oz.) prosciutto crudo, chopped
- 50g (1 3/4 oz.) mortadella, chopped
- 50g (1 3/4 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
- Fresh black pepper
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 5 eggs
- 400g (3 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
For the sauce, you will need:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 100g (3 1/2 oz.) chopped prosciutto cotto or ham
- 80ml (1/3 cup) panna da cucina, or to taste
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping (optional)
Begin by preparing the stuffing for the tortellini. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cubed tenderloin and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to cool. Use a meat grinder or food processor to finely grind the cooked tenderloin, prosciutto crudo and mortadella.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, 1 egg, and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Add the Parmigiano cheese (feel free to add more if you like). Mix thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate while you make the pasta.
Pour the all-purpose flour onto a large work surface and form it into a volcano shape with a hollow depression in the center. Crack 4 eggs into the hole. Whisk the eggs with a fork, gradually incorporating the surrounding flour until the mixture thickens enough to be worked by hand. Fold and knead the dough until very smooth and even. While you work, dust the dough with flour as needed if it's sticky. Wrap the finished dough in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough roughly into thirds so that you can work in batches. Keep any dough you're not currently working on wrapped in plastic so that it doesn't dry out. Roll each piece of dough out in a thin sheet, dusting with flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. While you can roll the pasta by hand, we recommend using a pasta machine if possible to achieve a uniform thickness. The thickness is a matter of taste, but for reference we used the #6 setting on our machine.
Lay the sheet on a well-floured surface and cut into 3-inch (7.5cm) squares. Place a small ball of the meat stuffing, about the size of a marble, in the middle of each square.
Fold each square of dough diagonally so that it forms a triangle and pinch the edges closed. If you live in a dry climate (like us!) you may need to dab the edges with water to seal them.
Take the two bottom corners of the triangle, wrap them around a finger, and press them together. We recommend watching the video above to see the technique. Arrange the finished tortellini on a floured baking sheet and cover with a clean towel.
To cook the tortellini, begin by putting a large pot of water on to boil.
Meanwhile, bring the olive oil up to medium temperature in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the peas, chopped prosciutto, and 2-3 spoonfuls of the pasta water. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. As necessary, add a spoonful or two of the hot pasta water to maintain moisture in the pan.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it generously and add the tortellini. Stir very gently once or twice. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce. Add the panna da cucina, raise the heat to medium/high, and gently stir until the sauce completely coats the tortellini.
Serve immediately with grated Parmigiano on top.