As many of you will know our little bit of England (Warwickshire) has had a fair amount of snow, so sporting alternatives have had to be devised. Making and stockpiling pasta turned out to be a great idea. On the menu was mixed mushroom tortellini, with extra garganelli.
I used my standard pasta recipe for this, 2 cups of pasta flour, 2 eggs + a pinch of salt.
Kneed the dough for a few mins then chill in the fridge for ~30 mins, standard.
For the filling I fried up, onion, button mushrooms, shiitake and rehydrated dried porcini, using some of the liquor to cook the others. I then blended the cooked mushrooms, and put back on the heat to try to remove as much moisture as possible. I also had a secret weapon, in addition to normal seasoning I had a can of shake o’cini. Once reasonably dry I removed for the heat and allowed to cool.
Then time for the pasta.
I usually work this amount in two batches. Rolling it through the pasta maker on the first three settings, then folding the sheet in on itself in thirds, then rotating 90 degrees and working it back through the pasta maker on the thickest setting.
Repete this process ~8 times, until the pasta really comes together, and you can feel the texture change to something closer to silk. I try to keep it well floured to prevent it sticking whilst rolling.
Then I worked the pasta to the lowest setting, to get the thinnest longest sheet.
With this laid out I used a pastry cutter, 68mm, to cut rounds in the sheet. Brush each round with a little milk, then with the help of an icing bag I added the mushroom mixture.
Fold each round over on itself to make a semicircle, then fold again and curve round so the edges touch – and there you have your tortellini. At this point I would cover everything with flour, as these bad boys will stick to everything, and if they stick to each other they will tear when you separate them.
Despite having about 300g of mushroom paste I ran out of filling (after 77 tortellini), so I used the remainder of the pasta to make a sort of garganelli. Basically cut the sheet into little squares (1″ – 2″ big) and roll diagonally over a wooden spoon handle – kinda looks like penne, incidentally I also made 77 of these.
I then left the pasta to air dry for a bit, then bagged it up and put into the freezer for a lazy day. We all have them, but your dinner shouldn’t have to suffer when you do.