Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dinnertime - Wrapped around my finger

You have only come here seeking knowledge, and I'm here to help, hopefully.

Beef and herb tortelloni
3 cups roast beef, cooked and shredded
4 oz ricotta
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 Shallot
Salt & Pepper
1 - 16 0z package 3" wonton wrappers

Last week, I threw a beautiful rump roast in the Crockpot with 10 cloves of crushed garlic, along with some salt and pepper. While it was quite delicious, it was also quite large. After being roast beef dinner with noodles, it was put into service for sandwiches and tacos, but there was still a giant chunk left, and I didn't want it to go to waste.

I've seen tortellini and tortelloni made before, on television, but my past attempts have been less than pretty, to say the least. However, I have to challenge myself from time to time, and this, strangely, felt like the day for a challenge.

Finely chop the herbs and shallot, and if you just have unseasoned roast beef, add a clove of garlic to the mix. Do not, I repeat, the jar of pre-minced, oil-or-water soaked garlic of unknown provenance and age. You will regret it. Your children will regret it. Shame will be piled upon your family name for generations. Just buy the head of whole garlic. There will be much rejoicing.
Mix the herb-shallot mince with the chopped, shredded roast beef and the ricotta, stirring with a fork to combine well. Get yourself a glass of water (and perhaps a glass of wine) and a teaspoon measure. Place a wonton wrapper at a bias (so it looks like a diamond instead of a square) and wet half of the wrapper from corner to corner with your fingertips. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wonton*, then fold on the bias. Place the seam on top of your index finger, then pull the corners around to form a loop, stickng the ends with more water. Go HERE for a beautiful visual tutorial, I couldn't have done nearly this well.
Clear a large workspace for yourself, since you'll need to arrange the finished tortelloni so they're not touching. Once you've formed your first tortelloni, you're on your way! Less than 4 dozen more to go. I arranged a piece of foil on a baking sheet for easy transportation.
Once you've finished, you can:

(a) Freeze the tortelloni on the baking sheet before bagging if you're going to eat them later. Because we've been eating this roast for a few days, I think waiting is a good thing. Besides, I have ribeyes to grill yet tonight and Lori made some incredible dill potato salad.

(b) Cook the tortelloni. Get yourself a nice big kettle of boiling, salted water. Because your filling is already cooked, you're just cooking the pasta. Five minutes MAX, when they float they should be done. And nothing's wrong with a little taste test. After all, you just slaved for an hour to make these things. In a separate saute pan, add four tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil, along with some chopped parsley. Remove the cooked tortelloni from the water, shake free of excess water and add to the saute pan. Garnish with shredded parmesan.**

Makes four nice dinner portions with a side of grilled asparagus, hit with a quick squeeze of lemon. Also makes eight servings for a beautiful pasta course.

* It's important that you not overfill your pasta. Don't underestimate the edge you'll need to bring these together. Also, make sure you work all the air out of the filling pocket before forming the tortelloni, air will expand during cooking and you'll have a tortelloni explosion. If you have leftover filling, freeze it to add to tomato sauce later.

** Parmesan, or parmagiano, does NOT come in a green shaker can. Those are floor sweepings. Buy a wedge and shred it yourself, or buy the clear tub of recently shredded cheese from your deli. Really.

1 comment:

Bev said...

YUM! Looks fantastic!

Be nice and share!

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