Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Before work tortellOni

Been meaning to do a recipe for the blog for ages, clearly i haven't managed it in a fair while...

It is actually more time consuming than you'd think - you gotta think of a half decent recipe you fancy cooking, gather all the ingredients, take snaps, cook, take more snaps, wash up the chaos and then search for about an hour for that bloody cable which connects your camera to laptop, then write it up.

not easy to fit in around restaurant hours (plus ave mostly been doing 6 days a week of late)...pretty obvious why not many chefs have blogs.

Anyhow, here's a somewhat rushed recipe i did before a late
(2pm) start at work recently. I decided to do pasta, mainly because I've got a good Italian deli right nr my place (see G Gazzano & Sons here), & it had some really good looking sausages.

So sausage pasta it was....

Tortelloni with sausage meat & a quick tomato & basil sauce.

I'd have normally called them tortellini but after being corrected by a slightly snotty Italian waiter at Bocca Di Lupo (he re-pronounced everything i ordered back to me, as if we were speaking different languages...e.g I'd order "cassata" and he'd look at me an check that i meant "cassata" ...erm yeah, "cassata" please...!???).

Anyhow he was right on the oni -ini front; they're both the same shape it's just that "ini" are smaller than "oni", the ones below are the same size as the BDL tortelloni it is.

Pretty simple recipe, and fairly quick when you get used to the making of the pasta / folding bit.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Pasta (this is a basic recipe here but if you like it richer you can add more yolk than whole egg, just adjust the volume of egg / amount of flour accordingly with experience):

  • 200g Italian pasta flour (type 'OO')
  • 2 large organic free range eggs
  • dash of EV olive oil

  • 2 - 3 Italian sausages
  • 1 - 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • a little beaten egg
  • a some herbs or flavourings e.g few fennel seeds, chilli flakes, little chopped fresh thyme or rosemary etc
  • Parmesan

  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • EV olive oil
  • a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • a bunch of basil, leaves picked


Make pasta dough - if you already know how to knock up fresh pasta then skip this and use your favourite method:
  • i almost always use a food processor for this for ease (and because most restaurants I've worked in do too), though if your processor is huge you might want to do by hand if your doing the smallish quantity above.
  • Processor method basically = sieve flour in to processor bowl, add pinch salt and splash of oil, mix your eggs in bowl then tip in and pulse until well mixed (should form tiny balls), tip out on to work surface and push together to form ball of dough.
  • Knead a little and cover with cling film and, ideally, rest for an hour (now you get your filling made, and get the stuff ready for your sauce - see below).
  • Cut the dough in 2 and keep one piece aside (covered).
  • Roll out your pasta to the thinnest setting on the machine, you can do this through any method you please but i think best results come from the folding and turning method (see guide by Giorgio here).
  • Cut resulting long sheet sheet into squares about width of a credit card. Put a portion of filling in middle of each then brush around with a little water or beaten egg and fold (see here), place on some clingfilm or lightly floured surface until ready to cook.


  • Take the skin off the sausages and roughly chop / crumble the meat.
  • Sweat the finely chopped shallot off in little olive oil or even butter, add any herb, fennel seeds or whatnot now and then the meat making sure you break it up in the pan so it doesn't clump up. Cook for a couple of mins or until just cooked through. Tip in to a bowl to cool.
  • When cooled a bit add a touch of beaten egg to bind, a generous grating of Parmesan and taste to check seasoning.
  • Put in fridge to chill before you use to stuff pasta.
A note on the tortelloni / ini thing here: an Italian friend Alessio (chef from Nahm, previously worked at Locanda etc) informs me that meat stuffings for tortelloni are cooked first (like i did here - phew!) whereas with tortellini meat is put inside raw (because they're so small that it cooks through in time that pasta does).

To finish:
  • Get a large pan of salted water boiling ready for the pasta.
  • Make the sauce by frying the chopped garlic in a large frying pan with a generous glug of olive oil, add the cherry tomatoes and cook until just collapsing, season then stir through the basil.
  • Drop the pasta in to the water, cook for a couple of minutes only then transfer them with a slotted spoon to the sauce, toss together and cook for another minute in the frying pan and serve with grated Parmesan and perhaps another drizzle of nice EV olive oil.


Louise said...

We give your absence seen as you seem to enjoy the work!

Recipe looks delish, will definitely be giving it a try as not long had a pasta machine and want to experiment.

Michelle Peters - Jones said...

Looks like you have no time left over from following the dream :-)) Well done Andy!

marv woodhouse said...

great post...will definately try this ....

nienne said...

Waw! This recipe looks great!! Now if only I could manage to make my own pasta ;)...

The London Foodie said...

Glad to see you found the time to keep up with you blog, been following it for sometime (in fact your blog was one of the main reasons why I started mine), and was worried that you might have given up! Great recipe as always.

Luiz @ The London Foodie