31 December 2011

Arrivederci 2011, homemade tortelloni

If the road to hell truly is paved with good intentions, then I was there and back in 2011, relative to keeping my blog up to date. I ended the year with 44 posts, counting this one, which is my last. Better than last year, true. But I started out so well, with 28 posts through May. Then I had a pathetic one post in June, one in August, and only one in October.

And it’s not for lack of material. We had a fun long weekend in San Diego in November. I only did two posts (Searsucker restaurant and Solamar hotel). But I should have done posts on Blue Point, Taka Sushi, The Prado in Balboa Park, Asti, and Croce’s, all of which were great and deserved to be praised in Krik’s Picks.

But for my last post of 2011, instead of trying to reconstruct my impressions of those San Diego eateries, I’m going to post on a new cooking experience instead.

In May, Bon Appetit magazine had an Italian theme issue which included a recipe and instructions for making stuffed pasta. Coincidentally during the year, my daughter and her husband lent me their pasta machine. I’ve always had an inkling to try making fresh pasta but was intimidated by the process. So finally, over the long Christmas weekend, I decided to do it.IMG_5182

First, here’s the link to the recipe from May Bon Appetit for Ricotta Tortelloni.

And here’s the link to their step-by-step instructions.

I also found an online video for using a pasta machine.

And I found a Giada DeLaurentiis video. (She uses a Kitchen Aid attachment rather than a hand crank roller like I got from Tovah and Peter.)

I used the pasta recipe from Bon Appetit, but I modified the filling. Instead of seasoned ricotta, I used some cooked squash, mixed in about an equal amount of ricotta and seasoned it with some dried sage.

It turned out pretty well. I was pleased by how easy it was to shape the tortelloni. I worried that the pockets would open up and the filling would get all watery when I cooked them. But that was not a problem.

The recipe says it makes enough for 12 starter courses or 6 main courses, and that was about right. My wife and I had about a third of the batch along with a green salad. We boiled and drained the tortelloni and sprinkled them with parmesan, a little olive oil, and basil. It was a light meal, but sufficient for the two of us. I froze the rest. My plan is to use the frozen tortelloni whenever I need either a quick meal or a convenient side dish.

Next time I make fresh pasta, I’m going to make fettuccini.

Happy new year. Keep reading Krik’s Picks.

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