Asalaam alaikum and greetings to all!
So earlier this week I made a tortellini vegetable soup that I promised I would put up on my blog. To be completely honest, I don’t think I took any pictures throughout this process but I feel that I can accurately describe how to do it. I have to say this dish was a hit and I’m really happy everyone loved it! So first off we have to talk about making the tortellini (because me and my crazy self decided to do it on my own).
I’ve always been mesmerized by the concept of how pasta is made, I attempted to make it several years back with some ravioli and it came out OK. I attempted to make Japanese pan fried noodles and they were OK. But I think this time, according to those who ate it, the tortellini was on point–so I will share my thoughts/process. First off I followed a recipe to make sure I was doing it right, but a bunch of it I didn’t do. To start off typically they tell you to put the flour on a surface, breaks some eggs in a well in the middle, and mix it. I always end up getting eggs all over the counter and trying to stop the flow of eggs OFF the counter, so do this in a bowl. Measure out 3 1/2 cups of flour and break 4 eggs in the middle. Mix until you can’t mix anymore. It will look gloppy and messed up and ugly–BUT DON’T PANIC! Pull out a food processer and throw it in there at high speed for about 3 minutes or until it becomes this pretty put together ball. Once that’s done, the hard part comes out, because you have to now kneed it by hand. It’s a little awkward to be honest and you will grunt like a caveman because this dough is not easy. The basic process is push out with your fingers away from you, fold over, push in with the bottom of your hand. Say it again with me:
Push away with your fingers
Push in with the bottom of your hand
Kind of flirting with the dough, pushing away, folding in then knocking them out with your amazingness. Yeah–that was cheesy, I was trying to be funny. Anyways! Once that becomes a smooth ball of dough and you can indent it with your thumb (just slightly, don’t poke a hole in it!) and it comes back up, then it’s ready! Wait….not completely. Now you have to wrap it with plastic wrap and let it sit for like an hour at least, at room temperature. This allows it to relax and become workable.
So while that’s sitting you can make the filling, which is SUPER HARD! Be prepared… just kidding. Take about 4 tablespoons of ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella (because I love cheese…), and about 2 tbsp of romano and mix it all together. Tangent: When I did this I used fresh romano, I love the taste and I was so proud of myself that I finally bought like a box grater for like 2 bucks and I wanted to use it. NO ONE TOLD ME ROMANO IS STINKY! It smelled so bad in the kitchen and mom started yelling at me but, alas, it tasted amazing! Anyways mix that up and put a lid on it so that it doesn’t stink up your kitchen.
When the hour or so is over (it really doesn’t have to be precise)–unwrap the dough and cut a quarter out of it then wrap the rest of the dough back up. You don’t need flour on your surface because this dough does not stick–or it shouldn’t. So you roll out the dough by pushing in the middle, roll away, middle, roll towards you. Then turn, and do the same until it’s about 1/8″ thin or if you put your phone underneath it you can see your screensaver/colors/whatever you can see on your phone. Or you can just use a debit card or something, whatever you choose, I don’t like putting rules on cooking. Cut about 1 1/2″ circles out of something, I used a water bottle mouth because I couldn’t find something else, some people are cool and have biscuit cutters, I’m not so I improvise. Stack ’em, and then grab your stinky cheese and put a 1/8 teaspoon in each one. Now here comes the somewhat tricky part, some recipes call for water to seal the edges, I didn’t need that most of the time. If your dough is a little dry, just have a little bowl of water next to you to dab some on your finger to wipe on the edges. Once you have the cheese in the dough, fold it in half, and seal. THEN fold that in half long ways and put one arm over the other. Think of like what you’re supposed to sit like feet crossed at the angles and hands folded over each other on one knee and do that with the arms of the dough. Make them proper. And then voila! You have made tortellini–now do this 10 bazillion more times. My advice is break it up into sittings, I didn’t do this all at once, every time I made a set I would put them away and go do something else. It’s also helpful to let them dry before putting them away. Just put them in a cookie sheet with a towel in it and the tortellini on top.
Now… for the soup!
Prepare the amount of stock you want in the soup, this is the liquid part of the soup and it really depends on each person. Because I had so many people coming over I made about 15 cups of water and 4 chicken bullion, but for 2-4 people I would make about 6 cups and 1-1 1/2 bullion. So then I chopped up zucchini, squash, and threw in 2 cans of drained petite diced tomatoes, salt and dumped pepper by accident. Once that began to boil I added in frozen chopped spinach. I gave that time to cook (about 30 minutes) to soften the fresh veggies a little and then threw in the tortellini for a good 15-20 minutes. I didn’t want the tortellini to bust, so I turned off the stove and let it sit fora good 30-40 minutes (until it was time to serve).
Enjoy!! Let me know if you have any questions :)