This is probably the most ambitious shaped pasta we’ve ever made, and, initially, we were really thinking of making ravioli. But we figured, what’s the worst that could happen? We make horrible looking tortelloni (a larger version of tortellini). So what! What’s the best that could happen? We’d learn a new skill. Great! So, with almost no downside, and a huge upside to shaping tortelloni, who wouldn’t at least want to try it?
It turned out to be easier than we thought. Yes, it’s a bit fiddly, and takes a bit of care, but, with a little practice we think anyone could be making tortelloni. Just follow along and see for yourself.
We will recommend a couple of things to make your tortelloni experience better: a piping bag with a large smooth tip, a 2-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter, a small bowl of water, and, if you have one, a pasta rolling machine.
Roll dough. If you have a pasta roller, use that; otherwise, you’ll be using a rolling pin. Either way, work with about 1/4 the pasta dough and roll it as thin as you can. (Keep the remaining dough wrapped in plastic so it doesn’t dry out.) Dust with flour, and let the dough relax as needed.
Cut circles. Use that cookie cutter to cut out dough circles. Cookie cutters aren’t that sharp, so you might have to press down hard. Just make sure the dough is on a cutting board. Place the scrapes in with the remaining pasta dough to be re-rolled.
Pipe filling. Pipe a small dollop of filling in the center of each pasta circle. It has to be small because you’ll fold the dough up and over the filling in the next step. Whoops! We should have mentioned that spoiler alert.
Moisten and fold. Dip your finger into that small bowl of water and rub it along the edge of the dough. This will help the dough seal and keep the filling inside. Now, fold half of the dough over to make a half-moon shape and press to seal closed. Right now, it’s something like a little ravioli, and you could let it go at that, but the next part is pretty easy too.
Turn. Take the two pointed ends of the half-moon shape and turn them back towards each other along the straight edge of the half-moon. When they touch, press them together so your tortelloni holds its shape, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Freeze. Continue making tortelloni until your tray is full, then pop it into the freezer. After 15 minutes, you can transfer the tortelloni to a freezer bag and freeze the rest of the way (you can boil them directly from the freezer, and freezing makes them easier to handle).
Yes, these were more difficult, and, while we wouldn’t want to make hundreds of tortelloni, it wasn’t too bad making 5 or 6 dozen. We will point out that whatever filling you use, you want it smooth so it’ll pipe easily. Over all, between the re-rolling of the dough, cutting circles, piping and folding, we do think this is a bit troublesome. But it’s also a lot of fun to see your very own tortelloni lined up and looking as if they were professionally made. Four stars.