Sunday, May 16, 2010

Prosciutto and Cheese Tortellini

We took a trip to Italy last night, at least a culinary one. And I have to say, my first foray into homemade pasta far surpassed the fare that we encountered in our most recent trip to Rome. We were so excited for our three-day trip to Italy (crazy short!), mostly for the food. And we were disappointed. Horribly. Where were the fresh, crusty pizzas? What we were served (with every meal) was gummy, greasy, and tasted like ketchup. What about rich Carbonara? The only Carbonara we found sat in a pool of uncooked egg. Even the gelato was disappointing. By the end of the trip, we were stopping at little markets and grabbing packages of prosciutto, a block of cheese and a baguette, which was quite tasty, but didn’t quite scream “I’m in Italy!”

If we had found these little pillows, I think we would have never left that great city. Each bite was rich and cheesy with delicious bits of prosciutto, and the pasta wrapping was fresh and light. I would have loved to attempt pasta from scratch, but using Pot Sticker Wrappers cuts out a few hours of prep time, always a good thing when you have a very hungry man watching over your shoulder. I love the versatility of these wrappers- Italian or Asian, main dish or dessert, these set the tone for a perfect meal.

I filled the tortellini with ricotta, mozzarella and prosciutto, adding fresh oregano and pepper for a fresh taste in every bite. Making these requires a commitment- mixing the filling with your hands, pinching the wrappers closed- not a job for the cook who doesn’t like to get dirty. I made twice as many as we needed, so I froze the rest. Next time we have a craving for amazing Italian food, all I have to do is boil some water and throw these in and cover with sauce.

Prosciutto and Cheese Tortellini

1 package of Pot Sticker Wrappers (found in the produce aisle of your grocery store)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup ricotta
1 cup proscuitto, cut into small peices
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
Salt and Pepper

-Mix ricotta, mozzarella, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add more mozzarella or ricotta until it reached the consistency and taste you like.
-Add proscuitto and mix until combined evenly.
-Place 1 spoonful in the middle of a wrapper. If you find that wrappers are breaking, use two wrappers for each tortellini. Wet edges of wrapper, this will help the edges stick together.
-Fold the corners over to create a triangle shape. Pinch the edges together.
-Fold the two long ends of the triangle to the middle point, and pinch together. Play with shapes and folding techniques until you find what works for you!
-Boil water. When water reaches a boil, carefully add the tortellini to the water. Boil for 3-5 minutes, or until tender. Because this is fresh pasta, not dried, it takes much less time to cook and is prone to overcooking if not watched carefully.
-Cover with your favorite sauce and enjoy.

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