Tortelli Filled with Greens and Ricotta

Featured in SBS Feast Magazine

Serves 4 • Prep 60 mins, plus 20 mins chilling Cooking 15 mins

This filled pasta dish is a speciality of Parma, It is often enjoyed on San Giovanni Day on 24 June to celebrate the summer solstice. Traditionally, a mixture of sheep’s and cow’s milk ricotta is combined with Parmigiano-Reggiano for a balance of salty, savoury and sweet flavours. The greens in the filling can vary from young Swiss chard to spinach, but here, Matteo uses stinging nettle.

300g (2 cups) plain flour
3 eggs
300g stinging nettle* or english spinach, stems discarded
250g fresh ricotta, drained
1 egg
150g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra, to serve
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
semolina, to dust
100g unsalted butter
½ cup sage leaves

1. Mound flour on a clean work surface, make a well in centre, then break eggs into it. Using a fork, draw in flour, working from the centre outwards, then using your hands, work in remaining flour. Knead dough for 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Enclose in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch stinging nettle for 1 minute. Drain, refresh in cold water, squeezing out any excess liquid, then finely chop. Combine in a bowl with ricotta, egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

3. Divide dough in half and, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece until 5mm thick and about 12cm wide – nearly the width of your pasta machine. Set your pasta machine at its widest setting, then feed through dough, narrowing the settings one notch at a time until you reach the thinnest setting.

4. To make tortelli, place 1 pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Place 2 tsp ricotta filling at 5cm intervals on pasta sheet to make 20 tortelli. Dampen edges around each portion of filling and carefully top with second sheet of pasta, pressing around filling to remove any air pockets. Press edges to seal. Cut into squares and place on a tray scattered with semolina to absorb excess moisture. Cook tortelli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

5. Meanwhile, cook butter in a frying pan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until light brown. Add sage leaves and cook for a further minute or until crisp. Remove from heat.

6. Add tortelli to butter and sage, tossing gently to combine. Serve scattered with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.