Pumpkin and feta tortellini
- 3½ cups flour
- 4 large eggs
- 350g pumpkin, deseeded, skinned, diced and boiled until soft.
- ½ Tbsp butter
- 100g basil or plain feta
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp shredded basil leaves, plus extra for garnishing
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs lemon thyme, stalks removed
- 4 fresh vine ripened tomatoes, skins removed
- ½ tsp sugar
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
How to Cook Perfect Pasta
To make the pasta:
Throw 3½ cups flour & 4 large eggs into a food processor and combine until the mixture just starts to come together as a ball. Sprinkle a little flour onto your bench to prevent the pasta from sticking. Remove from the bowl and begin to work the dough with your hands for around 2-3 minutes. It should become quite silky to the touch and bounce back a little when you push it with your finger.
Cover with cling film and let rest for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Remember to knead your pasta before you let it rest - it makes for very light pasta.
Drain and mash the pumpkin with a little butter. Crumble the feta into the mixture then add 1 clove of garlic and 2 Tbsp basil, season to taste. Combine thoroughly and set aside.
Unwrap pasta and cut in half. Put it through your pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold the pasta like a book and repeat this process 10 times. Then begin to reduce the setting and roll out your pasta. Make sure you have lots of room and a floured bench. I like to roll it out to number 2 on my pasta machine. Once you have your pasta sheet ready, follow these step-by-step instructions:
1. Place the pasta sheet onto a flat surface.
2. Take a teaspoon of the filling and place spoonfuls just off centre down the sheet. You should easily get 2 rows.
3. Using a 10cm cookie cutter cut around each spoonful of mixture.
4. Remove excess pasta.
5. Fold to create a semi-circle and squeeze edge together.
6. Bring the left side to meet the right and squeeze together.
7. Place on a floured tray to rest.
8. Plunge into salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add 2 shallots, finely diced and remaining 2 cloves of garlic then cook until translucent.
Add the bay leaf, thyme and tomatoes then cook until tomatoes are just beginning to lose their shape. Grab your potato masher and break the tomatoes down to release all their juices. Continue to simmer sauce until thickened slightly and then season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
To serve place some tortellini into a bowl and place a spoonful of the tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with some fresh Parmesan and a basil leaf.