Tortellini are ring-shaped, filled noodles whose shape, legend has it, was inspired by Venus’s belly button. Whether the Roman goddess of love had anything to do with it or not, this pasta is well loved and worth the time and effort involved in creating your own. Each noodle is made from a round or square piece of pasta, and the navel shape is formed after the noodle is filled and sealed.
Yield: 1 pound of pasta
· Mixing bowl
· Rolling pin (or wine bottle)
· Knife or pizza/pasta cutter
· Optional: mixer with dough hook
· 3 large eggs
· 2 cups flour
· 2 tsp. olive oil
· Water as needed
· 1/4 tsp. salt
Decide whether you want circular or square tortellini. To cut circles out of the flat pasta sheets, you can use a clean tuna can, a cookie cutter, or a biscuit cutter—all work well. For squares, use a knife to cut the pasta into pieces of equal size. To fill the tortellini, center the filling on half of the circle or square, and then fold it in half (for the squares, fold diagonally into triangles). Pinch the edges to seal them. When your half-circles or triangles are complete, the filling bulge should be against the fold and centered between the sealed edges. To fold a sealed pocket into the navel shape, gently place the fingernail side of your index finger against the filling bulge. With your other hand, carefully wrap the corners around your finger, pinching the two ends together firmly with your thumb. Slide the folded pocket off of your finger and set it on a parchment-lined tray. (The square tortellini can look like little pointy hats when folded; you can fold the points down to minimize this effect, if desired.)
Freeze or cook as described for the ravioli.
This article was excerpted with permission from the book Urban Farm Projects: Making the Most of Your Money, Space, and Stuff, copyright 2014, I-5 Publishing, LLC. For more budget-friendly and environmentally conscience projects and recipes, pick up a copy today!