Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Fennel Dust
- 2 cups soft goat cheese, preferably Coach Farm
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 recipes basic pasta dough, recipe follows
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 12 to 14 fennel fronds
- 2 teaspoons dried orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground in coffee grinder
- FRESH EGG PASTA
- 4 extra large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Using a pasta machine, roll out the pasta to the thinnest setting and then cut the sheets into 4-inch squares. Place 1 tablespoon of goat cheese filling in the center of each 4-inch square. Fold the opposite corners together to form a triangle and press the edges together firmly to seal. Bring the long points of the triangle together and join with firm finger pressure. Continue filling and shaping tortelloni, on cookie sheets, between layers of waxed paper.
Place 6 quarts of water into a pasta pot, bring to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Drop the tortelloni into the boiling water and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully drain the tortelloni well, reserving about one cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat butter and 1/4 cup of the pasta water together until butter melts and forms emulsification. Add cooked tortelloni, fennel fronds and orange zest to pan to gently heat and coat with sauce, about 1 minute. Divide onto 4 warmed plates, topping tortelloni with fennel fronds and orange zest. Finish with a sprinkling of fennel dust and the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.FRESH EGG PASTA
Make a mound of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs, oil and any other flavoring you choose. Using a fork, beat together the eggs, oil and flavorings and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape. Do not worry that this initial phase looks messy. The dough will come together when 1/2 of the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands primarily. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over crusty bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Note: do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.
Yield: 1 pound
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