Walnut, pecan & gorgonzola tortellini with figs & rosemary

Walnut, pecan & gorgonzola tortellini with figs & rosemary

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I’m so chuffed with this! I wanted to try remaking tortellini after failing miserably to produce these light and pliable little pillows when I first got my pasta machine and tonight I plucked up the courage (after the recent success of my homemade tagliatelle) to try making it again.

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I selected a filling that I’ve enjoyed many times in shop-bought stuffed pasta- walnut and Gorgonzola – but livened it up a little with rosemary, nutmeg and extra pecan nuts too, for a little sweet kick. Delicious and nutty and cheesy in equal measure, the filling is a 2:1 ratio of nuts to cheese. I played with it as I went, first trying a 1:1 ratio and deciding that you could only taste the beautiful cheese. Nice, but with not enough nutty sweetness. The nutmeg is really important in this dish, adding a sweet aroma that perfectly compliments the tangy cheese.

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I decided to fry up a few slices of a fruity fig with the rosemary butter I decided on making to accompany the pasta and it was a nice choice – I’d wish I’d had more! (I’ve upped the quantity in the recipe given below to two figs).

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This really was the perfect Sunday night dinner. Syrupy pecans, tangy Gorgonzola, bitter savoury walnuts, fragrant rosemary, heady nutmeg and beautiful fresh egg pasta; what more could you want!?

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I urge you to make it because it was just so damn enjoyable!

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You will need:

For the pasta:

200g tip 00 pasta grade flour
2 large eggs
Pinch of fine salt

For the walnut, pecan and Gorgonzola filling:

90g walnuts (plus 10g extra to serve)
90g pecan nuts (plus 10g extra to serve)
100g good quantity, strong grade Italian Gorgonzola
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary, stem discarded and leaves very finely chopped
A splash of milk
1/2 tspn freshly grated nutmeg
A touch of salt and pepper

For the butter:

2 ripe figs
Butter
A sprig of fresh rosemary (the leaves only)
A little freshly grated nutmeg
Salt, pepper
Olive oil

Method:

1 – Start by making your pasta; tip the flour into a big bowl and create a well in the centre
2 – Crack your eggs into the well, and add the salt to the eggs before breaking the eggs up with a fork and gradually whisking them into the flour
3 – Ditch the fork and get your hands into the bowl, mixing together the eggs and flour until well combined (they’ll be very sticky at first but don’t worry, it’ll come together!)

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4 – Knead the dough over a floured surface for around 10 minutes (time yourself), until the dough changes texture from dry and floury to completely smooth and elastic
5 – Wrap the dough with cling film and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to roll it out
6 – While the dough chills, crack on with your filling; start by tipping all the walnuts and pecans into a frying pan and toast them lightly until fragrant and hot
7 – In batches bash up most of your nuts (reserving a few for serving) using a mortar and pestle – don’t grind to a fine powder, you want a little texture
8 – Pop the nuts into a bowl and use your hands to break up the Gorgonzola and mix it into the nut mixture until it forms a sort of well combined paste
10 – Add the rosemary, nutmeg and a little seasoning to the bowl, plus a little splash of milk and mix well; set aside until needed
11 – Get your dough out of the fridge and push it out slightly into a flat oval shape
12 – Set up your pasta machine and put it on the widest setting; start by rolling the dough through this setting
13 – Roll the dough through the roller’s second widest setting, then back through the rollers on the widest setting; repeat 5 times
14 – Now the dough should be rolled out nicely and silky; roll it through each roller setting once, working down to the very narrowest setting
15 – The pasta will be long and thin at this point; take it and fold it in half, then in half again (and maybe again) until you have a square of dough
16 – Turn the dough round 90 degrees and run it back through the thickest setting, then the second thinnest, and so on until you pass it through the narrowest setting
17 – So now you have a big long strip of lovely thin pasta; cut it into two equal pieces
18 – Grab a pint glass and use it to cut circles out of your dough sheets; discard any leftover offcuts
19 – Take your first dough circle and spoon a little amount of the filling (about a teaspoon) just off centre of the dough circle; use a pastry brush to dab water around the edges of the circle
20 – Use your fingers to gently fold over the larger side of the dough circle and carefully press the edges together, squeezing out any air bubbles around the filling as you do
21 – Press the two corner ‘flaps’ of the semi-circular filled pasta circle together and set aside onto a lightly dusted tray
22 – Repeat steps 19-21 til all your pasta is filled
23 – Get a large saucepan of salted water onto to boil and meanwhile prepare your butter with which you’ll dress the pasta; Slice your fig into 6-8 pieces
24 – Grab a frying pan and heat a large knob of butter; add the figs, whole rosemary leaves and the remaining nuts
25 – Add some seasoning to the pan, a little olive oil and the nutmeg, and cool the figs and nuts for a couple of minutes; meanwhile tip your pasta carefully into the gently bubbling water you’ve been heating
26 – Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes only; once the tortellini floats to the surface its ready to drain
27 – Reserve a little pasta water when draining and add this to the figs, and add a glug of oil to the pasta
28 – Now dish the pasta up into two bowls and tip the figs, nuts and rosemary, plus the butter, over the top; scatter a little extra nutmeg, black pepper and olive oil over the top and serve immediately

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10 thoughts on “Walnut, pecan & gorgonzola tortellini with figs & rosemary

  1. This sounds AMAZING. I’ve only recently started to realise just how much better homemade pasta is to shop-bought (I’ve only attempted pasta twice so far, and I don’t have a pasta machine) and these tortellini look perfect. I love the sound of the rosemary butter, the sweet figs, crunchy nuts and soft, tangy gorgonzola. Definitely trying this. It’s still winter here so it’s perfect for warm, filling meals like this :) xx

    1. Do you know what, I reckon shop-bought pasta is maybe a teeny bit nicer than homemade in texture (not flavour) because I love pasta cooked really al dente. But, the satisfaction from actually looking at these little tortellini and knowing you’d made them – from just a couple of eggs and some flour! – was just so great. I’d definitely recommend a pasta machine actually. I’m normally not a fan of gadgets but its cheap, easy to use and means you can roll the pasta out so so easily. It’s a perfect winter dish!

    1. Glad you like the look of them – it’s a cliche to say this I know but you just can’t convey how delicious the stuffing was in photos! I hope you enjoy it if you make them :)

  2. This combination of flavours really does sound beautiful, I would order this at a restaurant if I saw this on the menu. Probably wouldn’t even bother reading the rest! I’ve just bought a pasta machine so can’t wait to try making my own. I agree that dry pasta is pretty hard to beat but the silky, tasty homemade pasta gives you absolute control over thickness/texture/flavour AND complete satisfaction having done all the work. I think you should bring out a pasta book, love your recipes and photographs!

    1. Aw thanks! Yeah this is a really great filling for tortellini/ravioli. Any filling with cheese has my name on it! Great that you’ve bought a pasta machine, it’s my favourite kitchen possession by far. I hope you enjoy making your own – I’d love to hear all about how you find it and what you make. I’d love to bring out a pasta book!

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