Although I grew up eating ricotta-filled pasta (Maltese ravjul), the first time I ate it in Italy I was absolutely floored. I can still remember it. The pasta was so silky and fine and filled with house made ricotta and foraged borage. It was at an agriturismo in southern Tuscany in a small town called Magliano. Now, whenever I make ricotta tortelli, I try to emulate that one from many years ago. (An almost impossible feat, but something to aspire to.)
I like to use some whole eggs and some egg yolks here as it results in a silkier dough, which is ideal for filled pasta. If you want to simply use three whole eggs and 300g of flour instead though, it will still be lovely.
I make sure I find the best ricotta I can, use the freshest herbs (here, oregano) and make the pasta lovingly, rolling it out thinly with care. Once you get into a nice flow, it is rather effortless to make. There is no need to get them absolutely perfect or even – handmade pasta should feel homemade. Just be sure to let the dough rest and dust the filled tortelli with plenty of semolina flour to avoid them sticking to each other.
I’m serving them with a very simple butter and asparagus sauce. If you wanted, you could swap the asparagus for some sage instead, which is a lovely and very common accompaniment.
Though Julia’s look pretty even, there’s no need to make the tortelli perfectly identical. It’s nice when pasta is handmade and rustic! Photo – Eve Wilson.
Finish the tortelli with butter, parmesan and in-season asparagus – so yum! Photo – Eve Wilson.
Gorgeous Julia with a plate of tortelli! Photo – Eve Wilson.
Click here to download recipe printout!