Candy-Wrapped Tortelli

Candy-Wrapped Tortelli Recipe
Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello
In Candy-Wrapped Tortelli, fresh dough gets twisted around the chicken-spinach filling, like a candy wrapper. Cutting and shaping tortelli by hand means each piece is unique--and therein lies the charm of this pasta dish.


Serves 8
Total time: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes
Total: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 273
Fat 9.3 g
Satfat 3.6 g
Monofat 4 g
Polyfat 1.1 g
Protein 14.3 g
Carbohydrate 31.7 g
Fiber 2.3 g
Cholesterol 138 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 581 mg
Calcium 184 mg


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes, crushed and undrained
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dry white wine
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
Dash of ground nutmeg
8.5 ounces '00' flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon semolina
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 3 garlic cloves in a saucepan over medium-low heat; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and red pepper.

2. Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl; cover loosely. Microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes or until wilted. Place spinach in a colander; press until barely moist. Finely chop. Combine spinach, 2 yolks, and 1 ounce cheese.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and 1 garlic clove; cook 2 minutes. Add chicken. Cover; cook 6 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add wine; cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Cool slightly. Place in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely ground. Add chicken mixture, milk, and dash of nutmeg to spinach mixture. Chill.

4. Combine flour, semolina, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dash of nutmeg. Arrange mixture in a wide mound with a large well in the center on a work surface. Pour in eggs, keeping within the wall. With a fork, gently begin to whisk flour from the inside wall of the well into the eggs. Continue to whisk gently until mixture is batter-like. When mixture is thick, knead until a rough ball forms. Knead until dough is firm and no longer sticky (about 8 minutes). Form the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Unwrap dough. Divide into 4 equal portions. Working with 1 portion, pass dough through pasta machine on widest setting (cover remaining dough). Continue moving width gauge to narrower settings; pass dough through rollers once at each setting. Cut into 12 (4 x 3-inch) rectangles. Arrange on a surface well dusted with semolina. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling in center of each rectangle. Brush long edges of pasta with water. Bring long sides over filling; press to seal. Press short sides to seal filling, and twist in opposite directions (as if twisting a candy wrapper). Place filled pasta on a baking sheet well dusted with semolina. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and filling.

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add half of tortelli; cook 7 minutes or until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining tortelli. Arrange 6 tortelli in each of 8 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1/3 cup sauce and 1 tablespoon cheese.