Welcome to the MaMa Florence Blog where we will be keeping you up to date on what is happening at the MaMa Florence Cooking School, with new recipes for you to try, fun facts about Tuscan and Italian food, wine, and lifestyle and much more. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram so you know when we have posted something for you to enjoy! Keep reading for the first recipe we would like to share with you, our chef’s favorite. You can find tortelli served in wonderful restaurants across Italy, but the best are the ones you learn to make yourself during a hands-on cooking class at MaMa. You can then take the recipe back with you to recreate at home for family and friends to enjoy with a nice glass of Chianti wine.
Spinach-Filled Tortelli with Butter and Sage Sauce Recipe
For the pasta dough:
400 g semola flour
4 medium yellow eggs
For the filling:
250 g sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
250 g spinach leaves, boiled (1.5 k fresh spinach leaves)
Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano), freshly grated
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt, as needed
For the dressing:
80 g butter
10 to15 fresh sage leaves
Cooking liquid from pasta, as needed (set uside while cooking the pasta)
How to Make the Tortelli Filling
Rinse and dry fresh spinach leaves, and boil in salted water. Remove from heat, drain well, and squeeze out excess liquid with hands. Place ricotta in medium mixing bowl, set aside.
Heat medium-sized sautè pan, coat bottom with olive oil, and add whole garlic clove. Allow to brown, add spinach and sautè together for several minutes, salting to taste. Remove from heat. Add sautéed spinach to ricotta, add in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and mix well until firm and well amalgamated. There should be no excess liquid. Season to taste with salt if needed.
How to Make Tortelli Pasta Dough
In a medium bowl, blend semola flour with the eggs, knead to reach smooth, soft consistency that holds its shape when formed into ball. Continue kneading dough with your palm on floured working space. Knead until dough is soft, elastic, and compact. Shape dough into ball, cover with plastic wrap to maintain elasticity. Let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap, continue kneading dough while shaping into rectangle approximately the width of your pasta machine. Begin rolling out dough using prepared pasta machine, generously dusting machine with semola to prevent dough from sticking. Flatten dough through machine until desired thickness is reached, adjusting knobs to make dough thinner with each passage. Dust working space well with semola. Place pasta sheet on top of workspace, and with round pasta cutter, cut individual shapes, being sure to cut dough as neatly as possible without creating waste.
With pastry brush, gently brush water on top of each shape. Place small teaspoon of filling slightly off-center on each shape. Cover shape by lifting up larger side and cover filling entirely. Using fingers, gently press down around filling, eliminating as much air as possible. Press borders down firmly to seal. Join two points of each sealed pasta shape to create tortello form. Dust tray with semola flour, and place completed tortelli shapes on top.
Butter & Sage Sauce and Presentation
Cook tortelli in large pot of salted water for 3-4 minutes. Set aside a bit of cooking liquid to add to butter blend. In a medium pan, melt butter. Add sage leaves and cooking liquid and simmer for a few minutes, until sauce is thickened but not too dense. Now add cooked tortelli to sauce and stir very gently for a few moments, coating the tortelli. Serve hot in individual serving dishes with a dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top.