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.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes, crushed and undrained
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Delicious! Made this last night and followed the recipe exactly. The flavors were fabulous.
This dish is time consuming, but worth it. I made the sauce & filling early in the day & put both in the refrigerator. I heated up the sauce close to serving time. I would call the sauce an arrabiata style, and you could use any light sauce with this recipe. I would not recommend a meat sauce because it would overpower the spinach/chicken filling. The filling was so good that I would consider using it in other filled pastas. My teens helped with the pasta making. We have a Marcato Atlas machine and went down the #7 thin sheets. This gave us the yield the recipe stated and the tortelli were light & yummy. We all had 8 to 10 tortelli as a main course (hungry family of 5 with 3 teens). I would say 5 or 6 tortelli would be a good first course.
Believe it when they say 2 hours, 20 min hands-on time, not to mention using every pot and pan plus food processor! The tortelli looked cute and tasted good but somewhat bland. The sauce could also use something to spice it up. I used 1 egg instead of 2 egg yolks which was fine. Could be an impressive first course; I also like that the recipe makes a lot and can be made ahead and frozen but not sure it was worth the time and effort.
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