Tortelli d’Erbette

  • Yield 8 to 10 servings

These delicate dumplings, a specialty of Parma, Italy, are sauced only with a little butter and cheese.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or spinach
Salt
1 (16-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
3 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 large egg
1 recipe Fresh Egg Pasta
Salt
8 to 10 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Wash chard thoroughly, remove stems (reserve for another use) and cut in strips. Place in wide, shallow pan. There should still be water clinging to leaves. Lightly sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook over medium heat until wilted, adding water if needed to prevent it from drying out. Drain in colander, cool, squeeze dry, and chop fine.
  2. Mix chard, ricotta, 2 cups Parmigiano, and nutmeg to taste. Add egg and mix well. Line trays or baking sheets with linen kitchen towels.
  3. Roll out pasta only as needed while filling, as directed in Fresh Egg Pasta recipe. Cut into long sheets about 5 inches wide. Drop teaspoon-sized mounds of filling onto sheets about 1 inch from edge and 1 1/2 inches apart. Fold pasta over, press together, pressing well around filling to remove air bubbles. Using zigzag pastry cutter or knife, cut away excess pasta, making rectangular shapes with filling at center. Pasta can be filled up to 12 hours ahead. Cover with cloth and refrigerate if not cooking right away.
  4. Bring 6 quarts water to rolling boil over high heat. Add tortelli, return to boil, and cook until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes if very fresh, 8 to 10 if almost dried. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium pan, remove from heat, and keep warm.
  5. Remove enough pasta with slotted spoon to cover bottom of warm serving platter in single layer. Spread on platter, drizzle with butter, sprinkle with half the remaining cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta, butter, and cheese until pasta is completely sauced. Serve at once.

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, author of New Southern Baking.

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