Fresh Pesto Filled Tortellini

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This was my first homemade pasta recipe and we all instantly fell in love. The pasta has a perfect combination of bite and chew while the pesto is packed with ridiculous amounts of flavor. Each bite is completely different but equally amazing. It did take me a quite a while to roll out the pasta dough and fill/form the tortellini but if you get someone to help you make these you can bust them out really quick. I know that I will never EVER buy pre-made tortellini ever again.

Serves: 6-8     Calories: w/o sauce – 503…w/sauce – 618    Time: approx. 2 hours depending on how long it takes to fill/form tortellini

NOTE: In the directions when I say “Check out this video I found to help you” or “Recipe Here” that whole sentence is a link to the video. For some reason my “link text” won’t differentiate from regular text.

Ingredients for Pasta Dough:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Fresh Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for (Optional) Light Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending on how chunky you want your sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make your dough ball. Recipe found here
  2. While dough is resting assemble pesto sauce. Recipe found here
  3. After you’ve let your dough rest, separate it into 4 equal parts.
  4. Keep the parts of the dough you aren’t using right away wrapped in plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your clean and flat workspace. Flatten dough into a thick oval shape with your hands. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the oval and roll it flat with a rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards. Constantly move the dough to keep it from sticking to your work surface.
  6. Once the dough is flat, using either a stencil or pastry cutter or a plain ol’ knife cut out as many squares as you can. Roll up left over dough and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Take one of the squares and roll it flat again because after you initially cut the shape it will probably contract a little bit. Once flat add about 1/4 tsp of the pesto to the center of the square. Fold the square in half (making a triangle) and pressing the seam together. Using a fork press the edge of your triangle to complete the seam. Roll the triangle to make a crease where the filling is cupped. Take the outer edges of the triangle and fold the across to “hug the filling” and press to seal. I would recommend watching this video I found on youtube to demonstrate how tortellini is rolled.
  8. Repeat with the rest of your dough and store uncooked tortellini in an airtight container for no longer the 24 hours in your fridge or freeze for up to 2 months.
  9. When ready to cook bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook until the tortellini start to float, about 5 minutes or so
  10. If you are whipping up my light sauce just combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium until tomatoes start to “wilt” and let out their juice
  11. Top tortellini with sauce of your choice and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Kelsey Nixon of http://www.cookingchanneltv.com and Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com

 

Homemade Pasta

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Recently my two year “blog-aversary” came around and I decided I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone. I tried my hand at homemade pasta. I’m not going to lie, making this recipe for the first time gave me mega anxiety because I had no idea what the consistency of the dough should be or what it should look like when it was done cooking etc… I’m hoping this post will inspire others to try cooking something that seems hard because it is such an awesome feeling when you nail it. This recipe blossomed because I decided to try making tortellini and ravioli on a few different nights. I tried about 3 different variations of this recipe and every time this one was the best. My words of advice are if you are confused or weary of your dough and if you are making it right watch youtube videos. The internet is a huge library of useful tips in the kitchen so don’t be afraid to use it. I’ll attack links to videos during the directions section of this recipe that I needed help because I would definitely not have been successful without them. Try this out and I promise you won’t regret it!

Serves: 1 dough ball yields 6-8 servings       Calories: 192/serving        Time: 45 minutes

NOTE: In the directions when I say “Check out this video to help you out” that whole sentence is a link to the video. For some reason my “link text” won’t differentiate from regular text.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Make a mound of 2 cups of flour on a clean and flat surface. Hollow out the center of the mound making a deep well in the center with steep walls of flour. You want these walls to be steep because otherwise you’ll have a mess of egg spilling out from your mound.
  2. Break the 3 eggs into the well. Add salt and olive oil. Start to gently mix with a fork. This step can be tricky so take it slow as to not break the steep walls of the well. I did it like I was gently scrambling eggs. Try your best not to hit the walls of flour just scramble the egg mixture and it will pick up flour as you do this. You can find a great video of how to do this here 
  3. Keep working the dough until it all starts coming together. You will not use all of the flour so don’t feel pressured to have to use every dusting of flour on your workspace. After you have a solid amount of dough start kneading it until it is smooth and elastic. Do this for 8-10 minutes. If your dough becomes too dry add a bit of water and if it is too sticky add a bit of flour.
  4. After you knead the dough form it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rest in your fridge for 20-25 minutes. You can store the dough for up to 24 hours in your fridge but it is best to use within a few hours of making. If you let it rest the whole 24 hours check the dough for small black specks. Black specks are no good so be careful in your inspection and if you find black specks you need to start over.
  5. Use dough for my ravioli recipe or tortellini recipe which will follow this post 🙂

*Recipe adapted from Kelsey Nixon of http://www.cookingchanneltv.com 

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Spinach and Lentil Tortellini Soup

ImageThis soup was really hearty and good. I was a little unsure of it at first because the recipe sounded like there was too much going on within the dish. I was surprised how good it ended up being but I definitely think I overdid it on the spinach and will cut back just a bit on that next time. This recipe came from The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

Serves: 6    Calories: 245

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup of dry lentils

– 2 cups of coarsely shredded carrots

– 1 large onion, finely chopped

– 4 oz. chopped cook ham or canadian style bacon

– 2 cloves of garlic

– 2 tbsp fresh basil (I RECOMMEND FRESH) or 2 tsp dried basil.

– 1.5 tbsp fresh thyme (ALSO RECOMMENDED) or 1.5 tsp dried thyme.

– 1/4 tsp pepper

– 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

– 1 cup of water

– 1-9-oz package of refrigerated cheese filled tortellini (We get the whole wheat ones.)

– 4 cups of torn fresh spinach, rinsed

Directions:

1.) Rinse and drain lentils. Place lentils in your slow cooker.

2.) Add the carrots, onion, ham, garlic, basil, thyme and pepper.

3.) Pour broth and water into cooker.

4.) Cover and cook on low for 6.5-7 hours OR on high for 3.25-3.5 hours.

5.) if you are cooking on the low setting turn heat up to high and add tortellini to cook for an additional 30 minutes. If you are cooking on high heat add tortellini 20 minutes before cooking time is up.

6.) To serve stir in spinach and if you want some extra basil and thyme.

7.) Enjoy!

*Photo is an original by me
**Original recipe found on pg. 49 in The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes.

Whole Wheat Tortellini with Spinach and Tomatoes

Now that my half semester classes have started my kitchen has been collecting cobwebs. Needless to say, this week’s meals have been a variety of what can be really easy to make, tasty to eat, and great to keep for left overs. We are a whole wheat family so when we see things like whole wheat tortellini on sale we have to buy it. Pasta sauce is “good” but I’ve always felt that it can be overbearing and take away from the hidden flavors of a dish so I’ve made a recipe for my own “sauce.” This dish is perfect for busy moms/dads worldwide!

Ingredients:

-Pinch of salt (for boiling water)

– (2) 9oz packages of whole wheat three cheese tortellinis (or any type of tortellini that you like)

– 10 oz bag of fresh spinach (rinsed)

– 1 whole container of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (modify to taste.. I love garlic so I put unnecessary amounts of it in my recipes haha)

– 1 tsp dried rosemary (or any herbs you like)

– 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.) When boiling add tortellini and 1 tbsp of olive oil (to keep tortellini from sticking together.) Stirring often cook until soft (approximately 7 minutes)

3.) While cooking the pasta heat (medium heat) the remaning 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan and add spinach. Cook until the spinach is just starting to wilt (approximately 3 minutes) Add the tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary. Continue to cook until the tomatoes start to wilt (approximately 3-4 minutes.) take off of heat and set aside

4.) When tortellini is done drain and toss with a very small amount of olive oil. Put about half of a cup of tortellinis on a plate and top with spinach/tomato sauce.

5.) Enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me