Sunday, 12 January 2014

Pear, Walnut and Parmesan Tortellini/Ravioli

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This is a very nice combination of pear, walnut and cheese. I serve it simply with a quick saute in a bit of butter, great extra virgin olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan. Fresh pasta is so worth the effort and these freeze beautifully for a later date if you don't cook them all. This is the perfect thing to prepare on a Sunday afternoon and if you have an extra pair of hands to help it makes it even better while watching football.


You will need:

Pasta
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp water if necessary
Filling
  • 2 ripe pears (but not overly soft) peeled, cored and chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil - Mandranova Nocellara
  • 10 scrapes of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • more grated Parmesan to serve




Step 1: start by making the pasta dough. In a food processor add flour, salt, eggs and olive oil. Process for 20 seconds to see if the mixture comes together as a ball. If not then add 1 tbsp of water and let machine run again (only add an additional 1 tbsp if the dough does not come together still). It should form a big ball and almost stop the machine when it is done. Usually the ball will form within about 1 minute of the machine running. Remove from machine and knead for a few seconds on counter, then wrap in plastic and leave on counter or fridge while you prepare filling.



Step 2: peel and halve pears. Remove cores and slice halves into thin strips. Cut strips into small dice. Cook in a small pan with a bit of olive oil, nutmeg and finely zested lemon. Cook for 5 minutes to soften pears and cook out some of the water. 


Step 3: place pears in food processor and quick pulse 5 times. There still should be some form to the pears once done. 


Step 4: place pears in a bowl to cool. Add walnuts and aged thick balsamic vinegar, Let cool.


Step 5: once pears are cool add mascarpone, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, Mix well to form a smooth mixture. Add chopped parsley and some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and place in fridge while you make pasta and allow the mix some time to firm up.


Step 6: add some flour to the counter and slice dough into half and then each half into 4 equal pieces. I run the pasta through the flat pasta roller until each sheet is still slightly thick (I go to the 5 setting on my Kitchenaid machine) so the filling stays contained.  Place the sheets on the floured counter and slice into squares. You can make them smaller or larger as you prefer. I roll 1 sheet of pasta, then fill to avoid sheets drying out. Cover unrolled dough under plastic wrap was you work with the one you are filling.


Step 7: take a small amount of filling and place on each square made from the 1 sheet of pasta you are working on. Dip your finger in some water and run water along two sides of the pasta. I prefer to hold the pasta sheet in my hand to form.  Fold over to form a triangle. 


Join 2 edges of the triangle and crimp to seal. Place tortellini on a generously floured sheet avoiding touching or they may stick to each other. Continue. Once completed I like to freeze for 20 minutes on the sheet, separated before boiling or placing into freezer bags for a later date.


If you prefer you can fold over to form a square for the simplest ravioli shape.


Step 8: place semi frozen tortellini or ravioli in gently boiling water. Let them float to the top of the pot then cook 2 more minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place directly in a hot pan with butter and olive oil. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.


Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and some additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I also make sure to drizzle any remaining olive oil over plate.

Serve immediately!






















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