Sunday, 22 April 2012

Goats Cheese Tortelloni

This is a hybrid of pasta and gnocchi - in my mind, the best of both worlds. Tortelloni are BIG. It takes at least two or three bites to eat each satin pillow (though I wouldn't put bets on that!).

Goats Cheese Tortelloni
from Neil Perry's Rockpool
Serves 4 as a starter (I made double the amount and we ate it as Dinner)

350 g  Dutch Cream, Nicola or Kipfler potatoes, unpeeled
150 g Goats Ricotta (or regular cow's milk ricotta, if you prefer)
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt & freshly ground black pepper
150 g Hard Bakers Flour

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes or until cooked. Season the goat’s cheese with lemon juice, salt & pepper. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave until cool enough to handle (the dough works through the pasta machine much better when warm). Peel the potatoes and push through a potato ricer or a food mill.
Add the sea salt and flour, and mix into a cohesive mass.

Take half the dough and cover with a tea towel to keep warm, put the other half through the pasta machine.
Dust the dough with a little flour each time you put it through if its sticking, but it shouldn’t be necessary.
After about the third time though, the dough will start to come together, but don’t expect it to look as smooth as normal pasta dough.
Lower the machine to the fifth setting, fold the dough into 3 and with a rolling pin roll out the seam end evenly. Make sure that the width of the dough is the width of the pasta machine. Open the machine out to 10 again and roll the dough through. It should become silkier and smoother with each passing. Continue down the scale again until you reach 3. This dough is not as thin as a normal ravioli, but the texture will be luxurious.

Lay the pasta sheet on the bench and trim the edges with a pizza cutter. Cut the sheet in half lengthwise, then cut the halves into perfect squares of about 3cm square. It is very important that you work in squares, as the sides fold over to make a triangle. This dough doesn’t need water to stick together, however you must be very careful not too use too much flour on the bench or in the last winding through, as the flour stops the tortelloni from sticking together. The dough also deteriorates as it gets cold so try to work with it whilst hot.
With the dough directly in front of you pipe a bit of goats cheese towards the top right-hand corner of each square. Fold the bottom left-hand corner to the top to form a triangle enveloping the goats cheese. You should have triangles on the bias with point facing away from you to the top right. Fold the base of the triangle lengthwise so it is level with, and covers, the top point. You will have a long skinny piece of pasta with a bump in the middle. Pick up the pasta and wrap it around your index finger, with the top point of the triangle facing away from you. Squeeze the two ends together where they overlap and remove your finger.

Place on a floured tray and repeat with pasta squares, then with the remaining dough. The filled and rolled pasta will keep in the refrigerator for a day and freezes very well.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Place the tortelloni in the boiling water, and as soon as they float back to the surface remove with a slotted spoon.

I served it with a simple tomato sauce.

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