Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni in a Porcini Cream Sauce

Tortelloni di Ricotta e Spinaci al Sugo di Porcini

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

    as a main course

Appears in

Although similar, the filling here is more delicate than the classic tortelloni from Emilia Romagna in the previous recipe. There is no prosciutto and more ricotta than spinach. The result I find is perfectly suited to the porcini sauce.

Total time: hours

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • Egg Pasta of Emilia Romagna, made with 2 eggs and cups flour
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, preferably baby spinach
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ounces pancetta, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Put the dried porcini in a bowl, cover with water, and soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Make the pasta dough.
  3. Rinse the spinach and remove any thick stems. Put the spinach in a pot with ½ cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and place over medium heat. Cook until the spinach is quite tender, 5 to 6 minutes (longer if using mature spinach). Drain in a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible by pressing on the spinach with a spoon.
  4. Peel and finely chop the onion and put half in a small skillet with 1 tablespoon butter. Place over medium-high heat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  5. While the onion is sautéing, finely chop the spinach. When the onion is ready, add the spinach, lower the heat to medium, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the spinach to a medium bowl. Add the ricotta, egg yolk, ½ cup of the Parmigiano, and the nutmeg. Season with salt and mix thoroughly.
  7. Put the remaining onion and tablespoons butter in a 10-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  8. While the onion is sautéing, unravel the pancetta and cut it into thin strips. When the onion is done, add the pancetta and sauté until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. While the pancetta is sautéing, lift the porcini out of the water and squeeze the excess back into the bowl; do not discard the water. Rinse the porcini under running water, then coarsely chop them. Add the porcini to the skillet along with the soaking water. Be aware that there may be some sand at the bottom of the bowl, so pour carefully or strain through a paper towel. Cook, uncovered, until all the liquid is evaporated.
  10. Meanwhile, thinly slice the white mushrooms. When the liquid in the pan is evaporated, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid they release is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  11. Fill a pot for the pasta with at least 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  12. Roll out and fill the pasta as described.
  13. Return the pan with the mushrooms to a medium-high heat and as soon as the sauce begins bubbling, add the cream. Cook until the cream is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  14. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water. Collect all the filled pasta on one towel and slide them into the boiling water. Cook until the edges are tender but al dente, about 3 minutes, then drain or lift them out with a skimmer. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and gently toss with the sauce. Sprinkle some of the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano over each serving.

Note

You can make the sauce up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate it. Wait to add the cream until you are ready to serve.

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