CLASSIC pasta tortellini -- how to make








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for cappelletti:

To make tortellini, or cappelletti, take freshly made pasta sheets (see how to make fresh egg pasta), still moist, and using a fluted wheel (or a knife) cut the pasta into either 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch squares, to your taste.

Put 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of filling into the center of the square. Moisten the edges of the pasta square.

Fold the square in half to make a triangle, almost! The folded over piece should cover the filling of course, but not run up all the way to the edge of the bottom -- showing a little border. Press down on the edges to seal the filling in.

Now the fun part, the tortellini finger-dexterity dance. The idea is to pick up the triangle and place it, centered and with the long side at the bottom and the point at the top, around your index finger (which is pointing toward you). Then with your thumb and your other hand, or whatever works, bring the edges together, slightly overlapped, and squeeze these corners, sealing them. Practice will provide you with the finger movements that work for you, remembering it is all worth it!

Before taking the finished product off your index finger, gently fold back the very peak of the triangle, also squeezing it to make sure the stuffing is completely enclosed. The folded over little top gives the cappelletti the hat shape that gives it is name.

for tortellini (if you want to be pure about the nomenclature):

Cut circles in your flat fresh pasta sheet with a round cookie cutter or similar. About 2 inches in diameter. Put 1/2 teaspoon filling in the middle. Moisten the edges. Fold the circle in half, creating a half-moon, but as above, not folded over quite all the way. Leave that border.

Now do your finger-dexterity thing, wrapping the half moon around your index finger. Bring the bottom edges together, slightly overlapped, and squeeze them together to make a seal. Make sure it is thoroughly sealed all the way around. There is no "top" with this approach, so no hat.

Place the individual tortellini on a dry towel, making sure they do not touch! Turn them after a time to let them dry on both sides. They will be very hard when properly dry. These gems can be used right away, or refrigerated for use later.



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