Homemade Tortellini

Tortellini Alla Panna
Last week I posted a recipe for Tortellini Pasticcio. What I did not mention in that post is that the tortellini I used were homemade.  I had still been tweaking the recipe for the filling and wanted to wait until I settled on a final combination of meats before I shared it.  The filling that I prefer contains ground veal with some pancetta.  It makes a nice light but flavorful tortellini that is equally at home in a cream sauce like the Tortellini alla Panna pictured above or floating in a simple chicken broth to make Tortellini in Brodo.

Homemade Tortellini

2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/8 pound pancetta, chopped coarsely
1 pound ground veal
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
6 large eggs
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Make The Filling:

Tortellini Filling In Pan
Melt the butter in a medium sautè pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the pancetta and cook for 1 minute, then add the ground veal and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veal is browned through, about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked meat mixture to a food processor, add 2 of the eggs and Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse until well blended. Cover and refrigerate while you make the pasta.

Make The Pasta:

Flour With Egg in Well
In a large bowl, add 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, and make a well in the center. Break the remaining 4 eggs into the well. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork for about 1 minute, then start to work a little of the flour from the edges in to the eggs, until the eggs are no longer runny. Using your hands mix the flour and eggs thoroughly into a ball. If dough is too wet, and you are having trouble forming it into a ball add half of the remaining flour. If it is still not working out add the rest of the flour, but you should not need more than that.
Pasta Dough
Transfer the ball to a lightly floured work surface and knead: flatten the dough with the palm of your hands, fold it back towards you, rotate it a half turn and repeat. Continue this process for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and firm. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Anchor the pasta machine to your work surface following the manufacturer’s instructions, and set the rollers to the widest setting. Cut the ball into 4 pieces. Take one piece and flatten it into a half-inch disk. Pass the disk through the rollers, turning the crank with your hand. Fold the dough into thirds and roll again. Repeat this 2 more times.
Pasta Rolled
Move the dial to the next notch, narrowing the rollers and run the dough through them. Continue this process, narrowing the rollers by one setting on the dial each time until you reach the second to last setting. Lay the flattened dough to the side and repeat the procedure with the other 3 pieces. To save space you can stack the rolled out sheets of pasta on top of each other, separating them with kitchen towels.

Stuff and Shape the Tortellini:

Tortellini Stuffing
Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, cut them into 2 inch squares. Brush the tops of the squares lightly with water (this will help them form a seal when you shape the tortellini, and also make the pasta easier to work with if it has dried out too much). Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square and fold one corner over the filling, forming a triangle.
Tortellini Folded
Press down around the filling, eliminating any air pockets and sealing the triangle. Wrap each triangle around your little finger pressing the opposing corners together to make a circle, and curl the top point back slightly. Place the shaped tortellini on a lightly floured baking dish in a single layer.
Home Made Tortellini
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18 Comments

  1. Wow. THis is beautiful. You make it look so easy. You made it official. I want a pasta maker for Christmas. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. I am impressed! I wish I had a pasta machine here at home so I could make beautiful pastas like yours.

    Reply
  3. I have to get myself to make pasta from scratch! Though I don’t have a pasta machine (I keep dropping hints for x-mas/b-day), I still think it would be great and not as hard as I keep subconsciously telling myself it is :P

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  4. I have not made pasta myself in quite a while…have been spoiled by a local shop, who specialized in fresh, house made pasta. The economy hit them hard, and they had to close up shop…reading this post I am now thinking about my pasta making up on the shelf…time to break it out.
    The filling sounds delicious, and your instructions photos are terrific!

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  5. Wow, those tortellini look so perfectly done. Already bookmark it. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend. Cheers.

    Reply
  6. These look tasty and delicious.

    Tortellini from Emilia and Bologna are tiny and the folding is not as shown here. The filling too is different.

    It takes years of experience making to make them fast and well shaped, so not everyone makes them at home. Here we can order and buy “freshly made today” Tortellini, made by professional Sfolgine – makers of egg pasta rolled by hand with the long wooden rolling pin. Lucky us!

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  7. Carmelita, thanks for the insight from Bologna. I actually did want to make them smaller, but these being my first attempts, the two inch squares were the smallest size that I could consistently shape successfully. I guess that’s where the years of experience comes in :)

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  8. I always made my paste myself with my pasta machine. Easy to use. Tortellini is one of my favorite pasta

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  9. Man i want a pasta maker!!!! i gotta rolling pin it! Old School yo!!!! ^_^

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  10. Thanks so much for the recipe and instructions. The pasta recipe is different than the one that I have been making. I use #1 Semolina Flour. With the following beaten together 2 Eggs and added to the flour: 2 Tablespoons of water, 2 Tablespoons Oil. Mix, then knead for about 8 mins., then let rest for 20 mins. This recipe works well for me.

    Reply
  11. can you tell us how to make the sauce (cream suace) pictures in the first picture?
    Also do you think there is a major difference from using semolina flour to regular all purpose flour?

    Looks amazing, going to try it this weekend for Easter.

    Reply
  12. Carla, for the cream sauce, click on the Tortellini alla Panna link under Related recipes at the bottom of the post.

    The consistency of the pasta will definitely be different if you use semolina flour. I typically use semolina flour mixed with water for Southern Italian shapes like orechiette. But when making rolled out fresh pasta with egg I like to use all purpose which is more of the style in Northern Italy. With the all purpose it is easier to roll it and it stretches nicely. I think adding the water and oil as Grandmainnorthernwoods mentions above would help make the semolina easier to work with. Another option is mixing in a little bit of semolina just to give some texture.

    Reply
  13. Carmelita
    Do you use the finer milled Italian flour?

    Reply
  14. Love making home made pasta,So much easier when you use a pasta machine.

    Reply
  15. My great grandma Mertes (diCrispino) taught my mom to use a rolling pin instead of a pasta maker. You just have to make sure to roll it thin and flour the counter and pin. It usually works just as well.

    Reply
  16. Busy: This is favorite site for very well thought out recipes. A lot work has gone in to the content of the site and you can tell once you have made some of the recipes contained herein. I often picture and post to face book many of the dish I have cooked. I’m so please with everything I have found here and I can’t wait to make the tortellini. I’ll be making it from scratch like above but I’ll be using some sirlion beef that I have. I don’t have access to veal today so I’ll grind down some sirlion and that should be delicious w/the pancetta. I’ll also likely use pecorino romano cheese as I don’t have reggiano parmigiano. Cant wait !

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  17. what is the yield for this?

    Reply
  18. How many tortellini does this recipe produce?

    Reply

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