The secret of these little ravioli-like parcels is the back-and-forth between the creamy ricotta cheese and the sharp Parmigiano in the filling. Browned butter and sage is the most ubiquitous finishing sauce for pasta in Northern Italy, and deservedly so, because it’s so good; it shows up on everything from these tortelli to ricotta ravioli to gnocchi and gnudi.
Note that the filling must be refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
- Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten together
- ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-
- Reggiano (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Rice flour, for dusting
- Fresh Pasta Sheets or 1 pound store-bought
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- Put the ricotta, eggs, Parmigiano, and nutmeg in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and fold together with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Spoon the ricotta mixture into a piping bag fitted with a number 7 (⅜-inch) plain tip and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but no more than 8 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust it with rice flour.
- Set your pasta machine to the thinnest setting and roll the pasta sheets through it. Lay the pasta sheets on a floured surface and use a wheel cutter or sharp chef’s knife to cut them into forty to forty-eight 3-inch squares (use a ruler or other straightedge to guide you). Lay half of the squares on the floured surface and keep the others under a damp kitchen towel. Pipe about 1½ tablespoons of filling into the center of half of the squares. Use a pastry brush or your finger to brush the edges of the squares with water, then place one of the remaining squares on top of each one, using your fingers to push out any air. (I don’t use the spray bottle for this recipe, because the cheese filling is especially delicate and could become watery.) Tightly seal the edges, then trim the edges with the wheel cutter and arrange the tortelli on the rice-flour-dusted baking sheet. (The tortelli can be refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate, or freeze the tortelli on the sheet until frozen hard, then transfer to freezer bags.)
- When ready to cook the tortelli, fill a large pot about two-thirds full with water, salt it liberally, and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the butter is browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- When the water has come to a boil, lower the heat slightly so the water is at a gentle boil and gingerly add the tortelli a few at a time. Stir carefully once to keep them from sticking together, then cook until the tortelli float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes for fresh, or 4 to 5 minutes for frozen. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting the excess water run off, and transfer to a bowl, or very gently drain in a colander. Add the tortelli to the sage butter and toss briefly to coat. Divide among individual plates, sprinkle each serving with Parmigiano, and serve immediately.