Spinach and ricotta tortellini

Abi Hodgson

Abi Hodgson from Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone 2018 entrant

I decided to make this dish because the Italian cuisine has always been my favourite, and I have fond memories of making homemade pasta with my grandma. The spinach that I used in this dish was grown from my granddad’s allotment. <br />

Method

For the pasta; sift the flour in the bowl, make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Gradually mix with either a blunt knife or your hands. When the dough has become a thick paste use your hands to incorporate more of the flour. Sieve any remaining flour and use the sifted flour while you knead the dough to stop it sticking to the surface and to your hands, but be careful not to make the dough too dry. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Leave the pasta to rest for about 20 minutes, covered in cling film. You can sieve any leftover flour again and save this flour for rolling out the pasta. Roll out pasta into sheets, then cut circles for tortellini filling.
For the filling; in a clean bowl, mix the spinach, ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg well, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roll out the pasta into a long, wide strip about 1mm in thickness. Cut the strip in half. Place teaspoons of the filling in a line down the centre of one of the strips of pasta about 5cm apart. Place the other strip directly on top. Press the air out from around the filling by pushing down the pasta around them sealing them in. Now take a round cutter measuring about 7cm across and cut out circles of pasta around each mound of filling. To cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and gently lower in the tortellini. Cook for about four minutes or until the pasta is soft but not floppy.

Ingredients

for the pasta; 3 eggs, 300g pasta flour, 2 tbsp olive oil
for the filling; 200g spinach, 200g ricotta, 30g parmesan, pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg for the sauce; 30g butter, 30g plain flour, 300ml milk, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper