Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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Cover the potatoes with cold water in a medium-size saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil until a knife slides easily into them. Drain the potatoes, transfer them to a large bowl, and mash them with a hand masher until smooth. Stir in the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, and nutmeg. Set the mixture aside.
Divide the dough into four pieces and work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining pieces under a bowl.
If making the tortelli by hand, roll each piece with a rolling pin into a 14-inch circle. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter, cut circles from the dough as close together as possible. Gather up the scraps and re-roll to make more circles. Place ¼ teaspoon of the potato filing in the center of each circle. Fold the circle in half to make a half-moon or crescent shape and pinch the edges together to form a tight seal so the filling will not ooze out. If the dough seems dry, brush the edges with a little water before sealing them. Place the tortelli on kitchen-towel-lined cookie sheets in single layers. Continue making tortelli with the remaining dough and filling.
If using a pasta machine, roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin to flatten it slightly, then thin the dough through the rollers of the pasta machine to the thinnest setting. Cut out circles and fill as above. Gather up and re-roll the scraps to make more tortelli.
Fill a pasta pot with an insert with the water. When the water boils, add the salt and tortelli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the cheese, pour the sauce into a serving bowl or platter, and keep warm. Use a pasta scoop to drain the tortelli. Transfer them to the warm serving dish and toss gently with the sauce. Serve immediately.
Tip: Keep several wet paper towels handy to wipe your hands as you are filling the tortelli so they will be clean to pinch the edges closed.
Note: To freeze for future use, cover the uncooked tortelli with a sheet of plastic wrap and place in the freezer on the towel-lined cookie sheet until hard. Transfer the tortelli to heavy-duty plastic bags and freeze. Do not defrost the tortelli before cooking them. Bring the water to a rolling boil before cooking them. They will take about 2 minutes longer to cook than freshly made.
1/2 pound ricotta cheese, well drained
1 large egg
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 recipe Handmade Pasta dough
4 quarts water per each 4 dozen tortelli
1 tablespoon salt
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