Capital Chefs: Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘IMG_1930′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s slowly getting a little cooler outside, which means that I can actually spend extended periods of time in my kitchen without melting. So here’s a recipe from Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna for a homemade tortelloni stuffed with a delicious and soft cheese mixture. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe or the idea of making homemade pasta. Turn on Netflix or your favorite playlist and spend a few hours in the kitchen with your pasta. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon on the weekend, if you ask me.


Photo courtesy of
‘Amy Brandwein holding pasta dough’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Amy Brandwein’s Tortelloni Della Nonna

Ingredients for Pasta Dough:
6 cups of all-purpose flour
6 eggs
6 egg yolks

Instructions for Pasta Dough:
1. Sift flour into a mound on a clean surface. Use your hand to make a well in the center. Add eggs and lightly beat together with a fork.
2. Continue beating, gradually incorporating flour from the inside edge of the well. When dough becomes too stiff to work with the fork, knead with both hands until dough is no longer sticky.
3. Form dough into a ball and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
4. Clean work surface, then dust with more flour. Uncover dough and knead with the heel of your hand until smooth, about 45 minutes.
5. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten dough so it will fit through the rollers of a hand-cranked pasta machine. Set rollers on widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.
6. Decrease setting by 1 notch and feed narrow end of the pasta through the rollers.
7. Repeat, decreasing setting by 1 notch each time until you get to last notch. (Don’t roll pasta through last setting or it will be too thin). Cover pasta sheets with damp kitchen towels to keep from drying out until ready to use.

Ingredients for Tortelloni Filling:
1 cup ricotta
1/8 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 cup pecorino cheese, grated
2 egg yolks

Instructions for Assembling the Tortelloni:
1. Cut pasta with a 3″ round cutter or invert a large glass and cut the pasta with a small knife.
2. Brush lightly with egg yolk and a bit of water.
3. Place dollop of filling in the middle of the circle. Fold over to make a semi circle. Wrap around your finger and dot the edges with yolk to make it stick.
4. Cover with damp cloth, refrigerated until ready to use.

Photo courtesy of
‘Amy Brandwein plating tortelloni’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Ingredients for Basil Oil:
1/2 cup of fresh basil
1 cup canola oil
Pinch of salt

Instructions for Basil Oil:
1. Blanch basil in salted water and then shock in ice water. Squeeze all the liquid out of the basil.
2. Blend with canola oil and a pinch of salt, until smooth in the blender. Cool the oil in a bowl over ice.
3. Strain through a very fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Ingredients:
7 tortelloni (recipe follows)
1 ounce butter (author’s note: an ounce is 2 tablespoons)
1 ounce tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh peas
Basil oil, drizzled (recipe follows)
Fresh basil leaves
Grated parmesan

Instructions:
1. Place tortelloni in boiling salted water until the pasta is tender (author’s note: usually ravioli or tortelloni start to float when they are done).
2. Place butter in a pan. Add pasta and a little cooking water to boil and emulsify. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Spoon tomato sauce onto plate. Drizzle with basil oil. Spoon tortelloni and butter sauce onto plate.
4. Garnish with fresh peas, basil leaves and grated parmesan.

Photo courtesy of
‘IMG_1921′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at) welovedc.com.

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