Tortelli di Sant'Adolfo

Tortelli di Sant'Adolfo is my riff on the classic Tortelli Maremmani, which are typically large, square-shaped, and known as ravioli in other parts of Italy.  These tortelli can certainly be made in the traditional way, but the addition of the egg yolk makes for a decadent and memorable first course!

After making these tortelli for my father-in-law's birthday, he gave me the best compliment an Italian chef could give to an attentive student.  He said he hopes to eat this pasta every year for his birthday and for his onomastic feast day.  So now you all know what's on the menu this year for the Feast of Saint Adolfo!

Step 1: The dough

There are as many recipes for homemade pasta as there are Italian mammas.  Here's what I like:

4 servings:

  • 250 grams of flour (I use a 50/50 mix of durum wheat flour and 00 flour)
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1 tablespoon of EVOO
  • dash of salt

Mix the flours together on top of a wood board and create a well in the center.  Add salt, eggs, and EVOO and beat with a fork, slowly incorporated the flour.  Knead until it has come together, cover with plastic, and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2: The Filling

  • Swiss Chard
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Egg

Clean and boil a head of fresh Swiss Chard (or defrost a bag of frozen chard).  Drain and chop.

Season 1/2 kilo (about 2 cups) of ricotta with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Combine ricotta, Swiss Chard, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg in a bowl and set aside.

Step 3: The Assembly

Roll out dough to the penultimate setting and use the mouth of a cup or a cookie cutter to cut large circles.  Working quickly, add large spoonfuls of filling to half of the pasta circles. Make a well in each to place egg yolks.  Cover each egg yolk with grated Parmesan cheese. 

Hint: Use the freshest and healthiest eggs you can find--a dark yolk makes all the difference on the plate!

Using your finger, brush the edge of the pasta with water. Cover each with another circle of pasta and crimp the edges closed with a fork.

Step 4: The Finish

Gently slide the tortelli into salted, boiling water and cook until they rise to the top (about 5 minutes).  Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan (being careful not to burn), add fresh sage.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta water to the butter to create a light, creamy sauce.  Using a strainer, gently add the cooked tortelli to the butter and sage. Toss to cover.  Plate 1 tortelli per person. and serve with extra Parmesan cheese. 

Step 5: The Pairing

These delicate and herbaceous tortelli pair wonderfully with a glass of Morellino di Scansano D.O.C.G. by Morisfarms.

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