pasta / primo recipes

split pea and ricotta tortellini

January 21, 2017

one of my favourite gifts i got for christmas was heidi swanson’s book, near and far. my little cousin gifted it to me along with some beautiful flavoured olive oils, and it was such a touching coincidence. heidi was one of the first blogs i started to follow back in the day. her simple, beautiful photography and evocative flavours inspired me to start exploring cooking and food beyond what i already knew. near and far is a collection of recipes and travel photography, and her detailed, flowing writing is what prompted me to make my own new years resolution to write daily.

this tortellini is inspired by one of her recipes found on page 101, chive dumplings. filled with mashed yellow split peas, and dipped in chive butter, she takes these little cuties when travelling as a snack on a long flight (which is genius – airplane food is the worst). i wanted to somehow incorporate this into pasta, and i’ve been wanting to tackle making tortellini for a while – so this seemed like the perfect occasion, since i have nothing but time on my hands. thinned with a little runny ricotta instead of coconut milk, and studded with caramelized shallots, every piece is a little pocket of goodness.

tortellini is time consuming af. my suggestion is to set yourself up in front of a tv, and go on a netflix binge, or watch your favourite movie (or two). it took me around 2.5 hours to make 50 tortellini with inexperienced hands. it’s hard at first but don’t get discouraged and abandon your post to make ravioli, like i almost did. once i got the hang of it, it went a lot quicker, but i’m still in awe at how my nona can make triple batches – i one day want hands that are deft and experienced as hers! #goals

after cooking, gently toss is chive butter and serve with a big green salad or as the perfect primo. these freeze beautifully, and i’ve saved half to try in a light coconut broth one day soon. i’ll let you guys know the results!

split pea and ricotta tortellini 
*makes about 50 tortellini

2 1/2 cups ap flour
3 eggs, 1 egg yolk
1 cup died split peas, cooked (yellow or green)
1 cup ricotta
4 shallots, sliced
salt & pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 bunch chives, minced

pour the flour out onto a hard work surface and make a well in the centre and add the eggs and egg yolks. using a fork, whisk the eggs incorporating the flour gradually until you have a shaggy dough. using your hands, incorporate the remaining four and knead for about 10 minutes, until a soft, smooth ball is formed. wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for at least an hour.

cook the split peas: bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then add the split peas. let the water come back to a boil, then reduce to low and let simmer, partially covered until cooked through, about 35-40 minutes. remove from heat, then let cool.

meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a small pan over medium low heat. add the shallots and cook, for at least 40 minutes, until deeply caramelized.

once split peas are slightly cooled, pulse in a food processor until fluffy, then add ricotta, salt pepper and nutmeg and blend until very smooth and silky. once shallots are cooked and slightly cooled, add to pea ricotta mixture and stir well.

cut dough into 4, and roll out pasta to the very last setting on your pasta machine, so you can see the shadow of your hand through the sheet. from the sheet, cut as many 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ squares as you can, making sure they are all the same size. keep squares covered with a towel or saran wrap so they don’t dry out.

take one square and add 1/4 teaspoon of filling to the middle. filling should be just a hair larger than the size of a pea –  careful not to overfill. fold the sheet over corner to corner, forming a triangle and press down, sealing the air out from around the filling. wrap the two ends around your finger and press to seal. fold the top of the kerchief over the pocket of filling and gently turn out the tops, then push off your finger. see video below!!

melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. once it starts to foam, and the white milk solids come to the top, skim with a spoon to remove. add the chives and stir in. keep warm on low heat. bring a large pot of well salted water to a rolling boil and add tortellini. cook until they float to the top and remove with slotted spoon. add to bowl and pour chive butter over top. serve hot.

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