Master the pasta

The New Zealand Herald - Bite - - Front Page -

Like ravi­oli, the fill­ing for th­ese can be any­thing from meat to seafood or veg­eta­bles. This fill­ing is re­ally a cheat’s ver­sion — it’s su­per quick, easy to make and de­li­ciously tasty. It can be pre­pared a day in ad­vance and kept in the fridge along with the sauce and the pasta dough. This creamy sauce has a won­der­ful flavour and tex­ture. Tak­ing the basil out be­fore the sauce is pureed keeps the pure colour and the basil a sur­prise.

Serves 4

400g gourmet pork sausages

1 Tbsp chopped pars­ley

¼ cup finely diced onion

½ tsp sweet smoked pa­prika

Fresh egg pasta dough (see recipe on page 8)

For the tomato creme sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup finely diced onion

½ tsp crushed gar­lic

400g can chopped toma­toes

½ tsp su­gar

1 cup picked basil leaves

¼ cup cream

½ cup grated parmi­giano reg­giano

1 For the fill­ing, re­move skin from the sausages and place in a bowl with pars­ley, onion, pa­prika, and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

2 Roll sheets of pasta, lightly flour then use a 7cm cookie cut­ter or a metal ring cut­ter to make discs. Place a tea­spoon of sausage fill­ing in the cen­tre of each disc. Lightly brush half of the outer edge of the disc with the tini­est amount of wa­ter. Fold the edges to­gether then pinch tightly closed to en­sure no fill­ing comes out dur­ing cook­ing. Bring the two “pointed cor­ners” of the dough to­gether and pinch tight. Place the tortellini on a lightly floured tray lined with bak­ing paper.

3 For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook onion on a gentle heat for 10 min­utes. Add gar­lic, toma­toes and su­gar. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle sim­mer. Add half the basil and cook for 15 min­utes. Pick out and re­move the leaves. Add cream and some salt and pepper then puree un­til smooth and vel­vety.

4 Use two large pots of boil­ing salted wa­ter to gen­tly cook tortellini for 6-7 min­utes un­til al dente. Spoon hot sauce into warm bowls, serve tortellini on top. Driz­zle with ex­tra sauce then sprin­kle gen­er­ously with parmi­giano reg­giano and gar­nish with remaining fresh basil leaves.

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