Artichoke Filled Tortelloni with a Pink Tomato Sauce

Tortelloni di Carciofi alla Panna Rosa

This delicately flavored artichoke filled pasta would make an elegant addition to any special occasion meal. Be aware that if the filled pasta is made too long before cooking it, the moisture from the filling will begin to dissolve the pasta in contact with the filling, and the tortelloni may rupture when cooked. If you want to make them ahead of time, partially cook them and toss them with a light coating of vegetable oil so they won’t stick to each other. When ready to serve, put them back into boiling water to finish cooking them.

Total Time from Start to Finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 medium artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • pasta dough made with 2 eggs and 1 ½ cups flour
  • of the Simple Tomato Sauce
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Trim the artichokes, cut them into thin wedges and place them in a bowl with cold water and some lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring.
  2. Put the butter and onion in a 10-inch skillet and place over medium heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes. Drain the artichokes, rinse them under cold running water and add them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, stir until they are well coated, and add ½ cup water. Cook until the artichokes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, adding more water periodically as necessary. When the artichokes are done, if there is still any water left in the pan raise the heat and let it evaporate. Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl of a food processor and chop until creamy. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Add the egg yolk, ¼ cup of the grated Parmigiano and the nutmeg to the artichoke purée. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
  4. Roll out the pasta dough until it is very thin. If using the pasta machine, roll out just one strip at a time. If you’ve rolled out the pasta by hand, cut a strip approximately 3-inches wide and cover the rest with plastic. Place dollops of about 1 tablespoon of the artichoke stuffing along the bottom half of the strip spaced about 1-inch apart. Fold the top half of the pasta strip over the filling and use a pastry cutting wheel to cut along the bottom edge, the sides, and in between each dollop of filling, forming square tortelloni. The edges should be sealed by the cutting action of the pastry wheel, however make sure they are and pinch shut any loose edges with your fingers. Place the tortelloni on a dry cloth, spaced enough apart so they won’t stick to each other, and continue the process until all the pasta and/or filling is used up.
  5. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat.
  6. Pass the tomato sauce through a food mill then heat in a saucepan over medium low heat until it begins to bubble. Add the cream and raise the heat to medium. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the cream has reduced and the sauce thickly coats a spoon. Remove from the heat.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water. Carefully slide the tortelloni in using the towel you placed them on. Cook until the edges of the tortelloni are al dente. Drain well and transfer to a serving platter. Pour the sauce over them and gently toss with the remaining Parmigiano. Serve at once.

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