Make Your Own Tortellini, Ravioli, and Mezzelune
Filled pastas are the perfect fall activity
From one-pot pastas to homemade hand pulled Chinese noodles, this month is dedicated to exploring all ends of the pasta and noodle spectrum. To stay up to date with Slurp! The Everything Pasta and Noodles Issue, for the latest recipes and articles, and don’t forget to for exclusive content.
At the beginning of the month, Ruby wrote about 6 easy pasta shapes that you can easily recreate at home. Today, I’m here to share how easy it is to make filled pasta at home—and again—you don't need any fancy equipment! If you’ve got a rolling pin, fork, and a knife…you’re set!
Read on to learn which dough is best suitable, plus 3 types of filled pasta you can master at home: Each one has a different filling, from spicy to cheesy, and matching sauce.
Basic pasta dough recipe for filled pasta
Christian had wisely prepared a few portions of pasta dough the day before our pasta-making day. The dough was very easy to roll out (as I said, you don't necessarily need a pasta machine, a rolling pin or a wine bottle will do) and was wonderfully elastic. This makes it easier to form smaller filled pasta, especially in the beginning.
To make the dough, Christian used 250 g (1½ cup) fine durum-wheat semolina mixed with 250 g (2 cups)flour and a little salt. Then, he made a well in the middle and cracked in 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks, plus 40 ml (approx. 2½ tsp) water. First, he whisked in the eggs and water with a fork, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients. Then, he switched to kneading the dough by hand into a smooth dough (this takes its time and needs a bit of elbow grease) and let it rest (it’s best to let it do so for at least 30 min. or overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge to prevent it oxidising). If you're in the mood for a colored dough, see our tutorial here.
Here are 3 ways to make filled pasta, each with a unique filling and serving sauce suggestion.
1. Make your own tortellini
Utensils: regular rolling pin or pasta machine | glass or cookie cutter ⌀ approx. 8 cm
We’re starting, admittedly, with the most complicated shape of the day—tortellini—but with a little practice you'll soon get it right!
How to shape tortellini
— Roll out the pasta dough very thinly and cut out circles with a round cookie cutter (or an upturned glass!), ours were 8 cm (3 in) in diameter. Alternatively, you can cut the dough into squares. Provide a small bowl of water or whisked egg whites.
— Add ½ – 1 tsp of filling to the centre of the dough. Have a little bowl of water or whisked egg whites prepared, so you use your finger to moisten the edge around the filling, then fold the circle shape in half to form a crescent. Make sure that the edges are tightly sealed so the filling won’t escape during cooking.
— Using both hands, pick up one corner at a time and bring them together around the outside of the filling, upturning the filling in the center slightly. Secure the corners, using more water if necessary.
— Place finished tortellini on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover until ready to use. Then, cook in boiling, salted water until they float to the surface. This will take 1 – 2 min max., depending on their size.
Our mushroom tortellini filling suggestion: Finely dice mixed mushrooms of your choice and sauté in olive oil with finely chopped onion and garlic until the mixture is very dry. At this point, you can add herbs like rosemary or thyme for even more flavor. Blend with a little ricotta into a creamier consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice.
Serve with a simple pesto sauce: We made a green pesto with basil, toasted pine nuts, and Parmesan, then added a little pasta water to create the perfect consistency to coat your tortellini.
More tortellini recipes: You might also like to try Christian’s homemade cheese tortellini recipe or classic tortellini alla panna.
2. Make your own ravioli
Utensils: A rolling pin or pasta machine | knife or pastry wheel (with fluted wheel)
How to shape ravioli
— Use a rolling pin to thinly roll out your pasta dough and then use a knife to cut two large pieces of the same size, or use a pasta machine to roll out two equally-sized lengths of dough.
— Place about 1 tsp of filling at equal intervals on one dough sheet. Brush the dough with a little water around each mound of filling. Then, place the second sheet of dough straight on top.Gently press the dough together and use your fingertips to smooth out the dough and any air bubbles.
— Using a knife or a pastry wheel (with a decorative, fluted edge, if you have one), cut around the fillings to make small squares.
— Place the ravioli onto a lightly-floured baking sheet and cover until ready to use. Then cook in boiling, salted water until they float to the surface.
Try this spinach ravioli filling: We can use the same principle as food the mushroom tortellini filling: Sauté finely minced onion and garlic, then add spinach and cook until it releases all its liquid and is dry, finish with desired herbs, and blend with ricotta into a smooth filling. Salt, pepper, lemon...done!
And serve with a spicy tomato sauce: For the spicy tomato sauce, sauté finely chopped onions and garlic in oil, add a little tomato paste, then deglaze with a can of tomatoes. Let it boil down, season with chili flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar and toss gently with the ravioli.
More ravioli recipes: Once you master your ravioli, as per Hanna’s new recipe, you might even want to fry them! Or, try butternut squash ravioli or potato and mint ravioli with sage
3. Make your own mezzelune
Utensils: rolling pin or pasta machine | glass or cookie cutter ⌀ 10 cm (4 in.) min. | fork
— To make this larger filled-pasta shape, cut out circles again, but this time with a larger diameter of at least 10 cm (4 in.) .
— Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center, then fold over to form crescents and seal the edges well, using a little water to moisten the edges, if needed. You can use a fork to press the edges down and help them close firmly.
— Place the finished mezzelune, spaced out (to avoid sticking together) on a lightly-floured baking sheet and cover until ready to use. Then cook in boiling, salted water until they float to the surface.
Try this cheesy mezzelune filling: A rich cheese filling is the obvious choice here. We mixed ricotta with grated Parmesan or pecorino, plus salt and pepper, and added lemon zest as the final touch!
Serve with sage and brown butter: It’s the simplest sauce in the world, brown butter with fried sage leaves and, if you like, a few shavings of Parmesan. Bon appetit!
What filling do you make your stuffed pasta with and how do you serve it? We look forward to hearing more ideas in the comments!
What filling do you make your stuffed pasta with and how do you serve it? We look forward to even more ideas in the comments!
Published on September 28, 2021