Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tortellini with Pesto

It's BASIL SEASON! I bought a massive bunch of basil at the coop two weekends ago, as my own efforts to grow massive bunches of basil have been thwarted by the cool weather and excessive rain. I needed a wee bit to make the Quinoa, Pineapple, and Cashew stir fry from Veganomicon, and then I used the rest to make a batch of pesto. Being the genius that I am, I didn't write down what I put in the pesto... It was basically a massive bunch of basil pureed with some olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, and salt.

Once pesto was achieved, it raised the more important question... what do I DO with all this pesto? I suddenly got a mad craving for tortellini -- but I've never actually seen vegan tortellini before! Rising Moon Organics and Soyboy both make vegan ravioli, but it's just not the same thing! You know what came next right? I broke out the pasta maker, a round cookie cutter and made my own. I made a whole wheat and semolina dough and filled it with cashew ricotta from Veganomicon. Tonight I had them for dinner with the pesto I'd frozen and it was delicious! I served it with some snap peas and beans from the garden and a zucchini I had in the fridge sauteed in some olive oil with garlic and rosemary from the garden. It was really incredably delicious.

So barring the things I winged (pesto, veggies) and the recipe I stole (cashew ricotta), here is the recipe I used for pasta dough, and a pictoral on how to make your own tortellini!

Pasta Dough
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup water

** I do all of this in my Kitchenaid. It certainly could be done by hand as well.

1. Mix together the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix the water and oil together in a measuring cup (i.e. a pyrex), then add it to the dry ingredients.

3. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, if it's too dry, add a little more water. Pastas pretty forgiving and you can go back and forth with this for a while.

4. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 10 minutes until it is a nice smooth ball. Leave the dough to rest, covered with plastic, for at least 15 minutes (though if it'll be a long while, stick it in the fridge).

5. After it rests you can use according to your pasta machine's instructions.... or grab a rolling pin and roll it out really, really thin.

Folding Tortellini

I used about a 2.5 or 3 inch round cookie cutter for the circles.

Place about 1/2 tsp of filling just below the middle of your pasta circle in a line

Dampen the edges with water using your finger, then fold over, pressing around the sides of the filling out to get rid of the air

Roll the pasta into a little cigar shape from the bigger side to the smaller side

Now you can either press the two ends together like hands praying
Or fold on end in on the other, like the tortellini is hugging itself.

Once you've made your tortellini either cook them immediately (boil water, then reduce the heat to a high simmer, carefully add the tortellini and simmer until they float -- about 2-3 minutes) place them on a cookie sheet on some waxed paper sprinkled with corn meal and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can put them in another container or bag together and they won't (* shouldn't) stick together. To cook them from frozen, do the exact same thing as from fresh, only it'll probably take another minute.


Puppy said...

holy crap - i know what i'm going to do this weekend! i'm gonna go to the co-op and get mad pasta makin' supplies.

Jessica Brown said...

that looks AMAZING!