Tortellini with sun-dried tomato pesto sauce

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: pasta | Tags: , , , |

Tortellini, the little rings of pasta filled with cheese, originated in the city of Bologna.
Sun-dried tomatoes are extensively used all over the sunny Mediterranean regions of Italy. Sun-dried tomato pesto, has the characteristic sharpness of tomatoes, along with the overpowering taste of garlic.
You can prepare the tortellini a few hours in advance, but be sure to mix in a tablespoon of oil to prevent them from sticking together. Seal it well in a bowl before storing.
This recipe is a lovely combination of assertive flavours that harmonise together perfectly.

Preparation time : 30 mins.
Cooking time : 30 mins.

Serves 4.

For the tortellini

1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon oil for cooking the pasta

1 recipe fresh pasta dough

To be mixed into a cheese filling
1 cup cheese, grated
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
For the sauce

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 recipe sun-dried tomato pesto

1 cup fresh cream
1 cup milk
salt to taste
For the tortellini
1. Divide the pasta dough into two equal portions and roll out each portion as thinly as you can without breaking the sheet.
2. Using a 50 mm. (2″) diameter cookie cutter, cut into circles.
3. Place 1/4 teaspoon of the cheese filling in little heaps in the centre of each circle.
4. Brush the sides of the circle with a little cold water and join them together by pressing the edges firmly.
5. Brush the corners of the semi-circle with cold water and join them together by pressing the edges firmly.
6. Cook the tortellini, a few pieces at a time for 3 to 4 minutes in a large pan of boiling water to which 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil has been added.
7. Drain and transfer the tortellini into a bowl of cold water to refresh it. Drain again and keep aside.
For the sauce
1. Combine the sun-dried tomato pesto, chilli powder, fresh cream, milk and salt in a large saucepan and mix well. Allow to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, while stirring continuously.
2. Remove from the fire and keep aside.
How to proceed
1. Just before serving, re-heat the sauce and toss the tortellini in it.
2. Serve immediately.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO

A modified version of the traditional Italian pesto for those who love sun-dried tomatoes.

Preparation Time : : 5 mins.

Makes 1/2 cup.

Ingredients
1/4 cup pine nuts (chilgoza) or walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
salt to taste
Method
1. Lightly roast the pine nuts. Cool completely.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and grind to a smooth paste.
3. Use as required.
Tips
If walnuts are used in the recipe, the first step can be omitted.
If you use sun-dried tomatoes which are preserved in oil, do not add the olive oil as mentioned in the recipe.

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