Baked Tortellini


Tortellini Dough:

1. Combine 2 or 3 cups of flour with a bit of salt, and dump the flour into a pile on the counter.
2. Beat 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks with a tablespoon of oil.
3. Make a well in the center of the pile of flour, and pour the egg mixture in.
4. With hand, stir egg mixture around, slowly bringing in some of the flour from the edges until a firm pasta dough is formed. Push the excess flour to the side, using it to flour your working surface.
5. Knead the dough for a couple minutes, until it is smooth and not too sticky.
6. Wrap the pasta dough tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.


Tortellini Filling:

1. In a bowl, mix together a small container of ricotta cheese, some parmesan cheese and an egg, and season it with salt, pepper, and basil.
2. Transfer the cheese mixture to a plastic bag and refrigerate.


Making the Tortellini:

1. Working with about 1/4 of the dough at a time, flour it lightly, crank it through a pasta roller on the thickest setting.
2. Fold the sheet of dough in half, run it through the pasta machine again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, to knead the dough.
3. Lower the pasta machine setting to the next thinest setting, and crank the dough through again. Lightly flour the dough if it starts sticking.
4. Continue lowering the thickness, one notch at a time, and rolling the pasta until it's about 1/16 inch thick or slightly less.
5. Place the finished sheet of pasta dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and cut into squares between an inch and a half and two inches.
6. Cut a small opening in a corner of the plastic bag containing the cheese mixture, and squeeze a small amount of cheese onto the center of each square of pasta dough.
7. Pick up each square of dough, carefully folding diagonally to form a triangular pouch, pressing the edges together tightly to prevent leakage.
8. With the 90-degree corner of the dough pointing up, gently roll the bottom of the triangle up towards it, and wrap the two 45-degree corners around your finger, joining them in the front.
9. Place the finished tortellini in a single layer on a sheet pan covered with waxed paper and lightly dusted with corn meal to prevent sticking.
10. Once all the tortellini are formed, place them in the refrigerator. Save any extra cheese mixture in the bag.


Sauce Making and Final Assembly:

1. Cook and drain a pound of Italian sausage and cut into small pieces.
2. Add a small amount of oil to a large sauce pan, and add three cloves of minced garlic, cooking until fragrant.
3. Pour in a 28-oz can of crushed peeled tomatoes.
4. Season sauce with salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir in cooked sausage, and simmer on low heat.
5. Butter a 13x9 casserole dish, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and heat oven to 350F.
6. When water reaches a roaring boil, add the tortellini and cook for a couple minutes, until tortellini is floating at the surface.
7. Remove tortellini with a strainer and them into the kettle of sauce, gently stirring them in.
8. Spread the tortellini and sauce into the 13x9 pan.
9. Squirt any leftover ricotta mixture evenly over the pan of tortellini.
10. Cover the top with a thin layer of sliced mozzarella.
11. Bake at 350F for about half an hour.
12. Remove from oven, let rest for a couple minutes, and serve.


Takes about 4-5 hours, plus chilling time for dough.