For the Pasta:
2 cups of flour
a dash of salt
a splash of olive oil
1/2 egg shell of water
Mix and use hands to form dough. Divide into four balls. If you have a pasta machine, run the balls through it one at a time from thickest setting to thinner until “thin enough”. If you don’t have a pasta machine, roll the dough out in two parts with a rolling pin on floured surface.
For the Filling:
1 cup cooked spinach or chard, drained dry and chopped.
2 T. fresh parsley
2 cups Ricotta cheese
a handful of grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
If mixture is too wet, add a little bit of bread crumbs.
Place the filling on dough in rounded tablespoonfuls leaving space between each mound. Place the other sheet of dough over top and press to seal between mounds. Cut with a ravioli cutter into squares. Place finished tortelli on a towel to dry.
Cook in salted boiling water for 25 minutes. Drain. Pour white sauce made with melted butter, flour, and half and half over tortelli and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
There is a funny story that goes along with this recipe. Nonni told it to us as we cooked together. Perhaps it is one you all already know. But she and one of her sisters-in-law were making up a big batch of these tortelli. After they had them all assembled and had put them in layers between towels to dry, they were cleaning up. The sister-in-law placed the stacked towels/tortelli on the seat of a chair, to get them off of the table so she could wipe off the table. (Since they make the dough right on the table, and of course roll them out, etc., the table needed a good wiping off.) Along comes Italina into the kitchen with baby Edward. Anyway, along comes Italina, and she sits down to nurse the baby and talk with her sisters. Nonni puts the pot of water on to boil. When it is at a full rolling boil, she looks around to find the tortelli to put them in. She can’t see them anywhere. “What did you do with the tortelli?” No one could find them. Then, the sister-in-law remembers that she laid them on the chair when she wiped the table. Italina was sitting on a nice cushion of towel-covered tortelli nursing her baby!! They had to throw away the whole batch, and they made up a quick batch of polenta to serve to their hungry men that evening.
Recipe provided by Laura Lander