Cavolo nero and ricotta tortelli with walnut sauce
For the pasta
For the walnut sauce
- 60g/2¼oz white bread, crusts removed
- 4 tbsp full-fat milk
- 100g/3½oz walnuts
- ½ garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 5 sage leaves, chopped
- 80g/3oz Parmesan, grated
- 150ml/5fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- 300ml/10fl oz water
For the filling
For the pasta, mix the flour and salt together, then tip them onto a work surface and make a well in the middle. Mix together the egg yolks, and pour two-thirds of this into the well, reserving the rest.
Starting from the outside, work the flour into the liquid until it forms a dough. Knead until the dough is smooth, firm and elastic. You may need to add more egg mixture if the dough doesn’t come together. Reserve any remaining egg for the egg wash later.
Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
For the walnut sauce, soak the bread in the milk in a bowl until the bread has absorbed all the milk. Blend in a food processor or blender with the walnuts, garlic, sage and Parmesan. Add the oil, then gradually pour in the water to loosen the mixture. Warm in a saucepan until ready to serve.
For the filling, blanch the cavalo nero in hot water then run under cold water to refresh. Place it in a medium bowl with the remaining filling ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the tortelli, cut the dough into four pieces and use a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to flatten a piece to the width of your pasta machine. Starting at the widest setting, run the pasta dough through twice. Reduce the setting by one notch and run it through twice again. If the dough feels sticky, add a little flour, but not enough to dry it out. Run it through the machine twice on each notch until you get to the narrowest notch. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Using a serrated pastry wheel, cut the dough into long strips 10cm/4in wide. Put a heaped teaspoon of filling at intervals along the strip, about 2.5cm/1in apart and about a third of the way from the long side of the strip nearest to you. Brush in between each mound of filling with egg wash.
Fold over the side of pasta nearest to you. Carefully press down around each mound to get the air out. Brush the top third of the strip with egg wash and fold it back down over the mounds, again pressing down with your cupped hand. Using the serrated pastry wheel, cut out individual tortelli.
Boil the tortelli in a pan salted water for three minutes until the tortelli float on the surface. Drain and serve immediately in warmed bowls with the walnut sauce and pickled walnuts.