Tomato Pumpkin Tortellini
After I showed you how easy it is to make your own pasta dough, here is my first recipe to fill it.
I find it attractive to make tortellini at home, as on the one hand, I then know exactly what is in the filling. On the other hand you can adapt the filling so easily to suit your own personal liking and be creative in your combinations. Ricotta Cheese and tomato – sure. Bolognese sauce – why not. Pureed vegetables – sounds yummy (ok, depends on the vegetable mix)! But, I really cannot recommend my last idea – nutella and pineapple. Maybe if there was less salt in the dough? But no, just in general I dislike the combination of something salty with sweet pineapple. And yes, if it were up to me, I would want to ban pizza Hawaii just like Icelands president.
Here, I want to introduce you to my favorite filling. Dryed tomatoes and pumpkin seeds with “Schmand” (What’s that you ask: well, just like creme fraiche it is basically a sour cream. Its fat content is something between 20 to 30%, while creme fraiche has over 30% fat content. If you can not find something similar I think it would be fine to use creme fraiche or sour cream in this recipe). The tomatoes are there for the taste. The pumpkin seeds for that certain crunch, when you bite in the tortellini. And the sour cream combines both to a creamy filling.
The amount in the recipe makes about 40 tortellini. But I like to double the recipe and freeze most of it. Because if you take the time and form all of the little ones, they are frozen quickly and then can be cooked straight from the freezer in 5 instead of 3 minutes. But please, do not store the filled noodles in your fridge. Because of the slightly wet filling the bottom will soak through and stick your plate. And that leads to tears in the dough, if you try to pick the tortellini up. And if they tear all your yummy filling will end up in your boiling water and you are just left over with empty dough. Sadly this has happened before in my kitchen.
And by the way, if you do not feel like folding tortellini – then make ravioli! Just cut out two circles from the dough and put 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of one circle. Now put the second circle on top and seal the edges tightly. But with a little bit of practice you will be just as quick simply folding tortellinis.
Because of the smooth outside of the tortellinis a chunky sauce will not stick well to them (in contrast to other pasta forms such as fussili), so you should always serve them with a creamier sauce. That could be an easy garlic-tomato sauce like in my recipe. Or you could just use some pesto. Or you coat your cooked noodles in some molten butter and serve them with lots of parmesan. Or there is also always the option to fry them for a crispy texture. And because there are so many options to variate the sauce with what you got on hand and the meal is prepped in 10 minutes, I am always excited if I have some tortellini in my freezer.
Recipe – Tomato-Pumpkin Seed Tortellini
Amount: approx. 40 pieces
Prep time: 60 minutes
Pasta dough (How to here)
30 g pumpkin seeds
100 g tomatoes marinated in oil
100 g fresh tomato
100 g Schmand (or sour cream or creme fraiche)
Salt and pepper
about 5 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp mixed herbs (I like to use oregano and thyme)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
some of the water you boiled the noodles in
about 20 g of parmesan
Prepare some pasta dough (How to).
For the filling roast 30 g of pumpkin seeds in a pan. They are done once they are of a light brown color and puffed up.
Cut 100 g of tomatoes marinated in oil in small pieces and place them in a bowl. Now cut 100 g of fresh tomatoes in equaly small pieces and place them in the bowl, making sure not to add all of the liquid (If you would like to, you can reserve and freeze it for tomato sauce later on).
Now chop up the pumpkin seeds in small pieces and add all but 1 tablespoon (which you reserve for the sauce), in the bowl. Then mix in your 100 g of Schmand/Sour Cream/Creme Fraiche and taste with salt and pepper to your liking.
Cover a big plate with aluminium foil or ceran wrap and dust with a little bit of flour.
Now roll out your pasta dough and cut out circles (I use a wine glas). In the middle of each circle put one teaspoon of filling. Now close it to a semi circle and seal the edges tightly. Take the edges and fold them over each other and place your tortellini on the plate. A visual guide can be found here.
[The following sauce is calculated for 2 people and 10 tortellini each. If you would like to cook all tortellini at once, please double the sauce.]
As soon as the tortellini are filled bring a pot of salt water to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, place a large pan on the stove on low heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 tsp mixed herbs (I like to use oregano and thyme) and 1 tsp tomato paste in the pan. Stir that together to a chunky sauce over low heat.
Once the water boils add the pasta. These are done once they float on top, after approximately 3 minutes. If you are unsure if they are ready, just try one.
Balance the pasta on a laddle directly in the pan. Add ground parmesan and your reserved tablespoon of roasted pumpkin seeds and stir well. If the sauce does not seem creamy enough add a small amount of the water used to boil the pasta.
If you don’t want to cook all pasta at once, place the tray in the freezer. After a day they are frozen solid and can be stored in a plastic bag in the freezer. Just add them to boiling water straight from the freezer. They only take about 2 minutes longer then (5 minutes total).
Please do not store the tortellini in the fridge or outside the fridge. The wet filling will soak through the bottom and it will tear when you try to lift them from your tray. So freeze them or keep them cooked in the fridge.