Fresh Pasta By Hand: Tips For Hand Rolled Yellow Corn Tortellini

Want to know how to roll the best pasta by hand?

We are going to show you in just a few simple steps just how easy it actually is when given the right steps, recipes, and necessary equipment.

These little tortellini are small and fun to roll.  Originally a pasta from Emilia Romagna, they are believed to be created to resemble Venus’s navel… also called “belly button” pasta.

Follow these fresh pasta by hand tips and your friends will be calling you Mario in no time…

Yellow Corn Tortellini

Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 7 portions

Ingredients

  • pasta roller (we use a kitchen aide attachment)
  • fluted ring cutter
  • 8 brown eggs
  • whole milk
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • AP flour
  • cornstarch
  • 6 ears yellow corn
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup marcona almonds
  • 5 large handfuls basil
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 1 cup grated parmesan reggiano (plus extra for shaving)
  • 2 cup morel mushrooms
  • 5oz. guanciale or prosciutto thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • diamond kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Step 1: Make the pasta dough
  2. Step 2: Make the corn filling
  3. Step 3: Make the almond pesto
  4. Step 4: Crispy guanciale
  5. Step 5: Hand roll the tortellini
  6. Step 6: Make the beurre monte
  7. Step 7: Clean morel mushrooms
  8. Step 8:Cook pasta
  9. Step 9: Plating
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Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 1: Make The Pasta Dough 

What’s the key to correct pasta rolling?

It’s the right pasta dough recipe, the laminating process, and technique.

For this recipe it’s important to have all measured ingredients in separate bowls and to knead the dough by hand.

To start, form a mound of the flour on a proper work surface and, with your fingers, make a large crater in the flour.

fresh pasta dough ingredients

Pour all the wet ingredients into the crater and, with a fork, pull the flour into the crater and stir until you are able to use your hands. Mix all the ingredients until the dough comes together.

forming the fresh pasta

Once you have a sphere, start the kneading process and push the dough into the work surface with the palm of your hand, like you are trying to smear it into the table.  Then pull the dough towards you and repeat this process for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny.

kneading the fresh pasta

Fully wrap in plastic wrap and cool for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour until you are ready to roll.

fresh pasta dough wrapped in plastic wrap

Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe:

1 ¾ cup AP flour

1 tbs. whole milk

6 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1 ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 2: Make The Corn Filling

Roughly chop your garlic and shallots, pick the thyme, and remove the corn kernels into a bowl.

yellow corn tortellini ingredients

In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the garlic, thyme, and shallots “softly with out color” until soft and fragrant.  Add the corn and salt, then sweat until tender. Once translucent, add the cream and cook for 20 minutes at a simmer until fully reduced.

yellow corn, garlic, and shallots

yellow corn and cream

Once all of the moisture of the cream is cooked down, add to a Vita Prep and blend on high for 3 minutes until smooth.

yellow corn and spatula

Place the corn puree, mascarpone cheese, and cornstarch into a sauce pan and bring to a boil while continually whisking.

yellow corn and mascarpone cheese

Chill over an ice bath until cool, add to a piping bag, and refrigerate until semi-firm.

yellow corn filling in piping bag

Note: It’s important to get the best and sweetest yellow corn you can possibly find.

Yellow Corn Filling Recipe:

1 qt. corn kernels

3 cloves chopped garlic

2 shallots

3 sprigs thyme

4 oz. butter

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup mascarpone

1 tsp. cornstarch

salt and pepper to taste

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 3: Make The Marcona Almond Pesto

They key to a good pesto is working quickly so the blades of the blender don’t heat your basil and turn it brown and unappetizing… so make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped before you start this process.

marcona almond pesto ingredients

We like to put our blender top in the freezer 45 minutes before we make the pesto, as an insurance policy to keep things cool.

Start by toasting your almonds on a sheet tray in a 300°F oven till golden brown, but not burnt.

Cool immediately and crush slightly with the back of a large pot.

In the cold Vita Prep, quickly pulse your Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic and crushed almonds until incorporated but not smooth.

You are looking for a chunky/nutty texture.

Remove the blender top, push the basil leaves to the bottom near the blades, and pulse again quickly until emulsified…but still keeping a toothsome texture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate. When ready to cook the pasta, remove from the refrigerator one hour before plating.

marcona almond pesto final plating

Always store pesto with plastic wrap on contact to keep from going brown.

marcona almond pesto with plastic wrap on contact

Note:  This a visual process.  If it looks too thick, then transfer the pesto into a bowl and, with a rubber spatula, drizzle in more oil to loosen. Make sure to adjust the seasoning and acidity.

Remember to work quickly, and save some basil and parmesan for plating.

Marcona Almond Pesto Recipe:

5 bunches basil

½ cup toasted marcona almonds

½ cup grated parmesan

1 lemon juice and zest

1 clove garlic

1 ½ cups olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 4: Make The Crispy Guanciale

Guanciale is an Italian cured meat from the jowls of the pig, and has excellent flavor that’s similar to bacon… but better.

guanciale

Pre heat an oven to 375°F

On a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, lay out thinly sliced guanciale or prosciutto and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper.

guanciale and parchment paper

Press with a second heavier sheet tray and bake until crispy… 15-20 minutes.

guanciale being pressed

crispy guanciale

Store on a small sheet tray lined with a paper towel.

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 5: Hand Roll The Tortellini

Pull the dough out 20 minutes prior to rolling.  Using a Classic Kitchen Aide, and with the widest setting and the max speed of the kitchen aide, run the pasta through one time.

pasta dough one time

Fold the thick pasta sheet over itself into thirds.

pasta dough being folded over on itself

laminating pasta dough

Next, run the sheet through the widest setting.  This time, with thenon fold” side down.

pasta dough non fold side down

Then simply run the sheet down the scale setting from widest to smallest (1-8) until you have a nice sheet of pasta and you can see your hands through it.

sheet of pasta

Once you have nice sheets of past, use a large fluted ring cutter to stamp out circles.  Pipe out a small amount of  the corn filling, and egg wash half of the circle.

circles and yellow corn filling

Fold the circle in half and press to release any air.

releasing air in totrtellini

Then wipe one corner with the egg wash and join both points tightly together to form the tortellini.

 

yellow corn tortellini and egg wash

tortellini final shape

Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 6: Make The Beurre Monte

This is basically just an emulsified butter sauce that when added at the final stretch, and reduced properly, makes all the difference when cooking pasta.

Start with the final cup of cream in a small flat sided sauté pan and reduce slowly so the cream is not scorched.

Reduce untill the water in the cream is evaporated and the cream gets shiny and looks like it’s about to separate. (You should be able to draw a line in the center of the pan with a spatula, and the cream shouldn’t run back into the center of the pan.)

reduced cream

At this point, add the cubes of butter one at a time and turn the heat up slightly.  Continually whisk until all of the butter is incorporated and has a nice thick consistency. If it gets too hot, simply move the pan away from the heat, and continue to whisk in tabs of butter.

adding butter

whisking butter off the heat

Season with salt, add to a bowl, place it over a double boiler, and cover with a lid.  Keep warm on low heat. (This will keep emulsified for hours… just remember to give it a stir every now and then.)

final butter and double boiler

Beurre Monte Recipe:

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 lb. unsalted butter

diamond kosher salt to taste

Note: We always buy unsalted organic butter here at EFB because we have more control over adding and adjusting salt. You can always add salt, but you can’t always take it away. Unsalted butter is also fresher than salted butter. Manufacturers add salt as a preservative, so if you’re buying salted butter it could be months old.

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 7: Clean The Morel Mushrooms

This is another one of those common sense things.  Like all mushrooms, if you can get away with cleaning them with a wet cloth then do so.  If they are covered in dirt, sand, and pine needles, then give them a dunk in a few rounds of water, and dry them near a warm oven.

The key is to never submerge them for a long period of time as they will soak up water like a sponge.

dirty morel mushrooms

(Before)

cleaned morel mushrooms

 (After)

Finley mince the chives, cover with a wet paper towel, and reserve for assembling the pasta.

Mince 2 shallots and 3 cloves of garlic for cooking the mushrooms.

Note: Morel mushrooms are seasonal and can easily be substituted.  Chanterelles are great this time of the year, and would also be amazing with corn.  We like to buy large amounts of mushrooms when they are good, and dry them out ourselves for when they are out of season. This is a lot more cost effective, because they can be expensive.

dried morel mushrooms

(Dried)

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 8: Cook The Tortellini

This is going to be a quick process, so having the right timing and being organized is very important. The tortellini will cook fast, so you will want to plate them right after they hit the butter, and are coated nicely.

We like to cook 3-5 tortellini per person for this dish.

15 minutes before you are ready to cook, fill a pot with water and salt liberally.  The water should be almost as salty as the ocean when you taste… “don’t worry, this will not over salt the pasta you just spent time rolling”

Your beurre monte should be kept warm using a double boiler on the back burner.

set up for tortellini

When ready to cook, sweat your shallots and garlic in a sauté pan with olive oil until translucent, then add your morels and cook on medium heat.  Once tender, add the white wine and slowly reduce until most of the liquid has cooked off.  Then add enough beurre monte to coat each mushroom, season, and keep warm for plating.

While doing this, drop your tortellini into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, with a spider, add them to a separate sauté pan with more of the beurre monte, and add a splash of the salted pasta water. Reduce slowly until they are nicely coated, and sprinkle with the chives.

boiling pasta

coating pasta in butter

Note: Fresh pasta will cook a lot quicker than regular dried pasta, so be sure to have all of your ducks in a row.

Yellow Corn Tortellini | Step 9: Plating

On a nice plate, place a spoonful of the pesto into the center of the bowl and, with the back of the spoon, lightly spread into a circle.

With a small perforated spoon, place each pasta on the pesto while remembering to leave a green border of the pesto.  You worked hard to achieve a nice green color, so don’t over crowd the plate.  Try to stand each pasta straight up to get some height to the dish, and also be sure to make room for inserting the garnishes.

Garnish each plate with the glazed morels, basil leaves, shaved parmesan, and crispy guanciale.

The Reason For Gluten

These days, gluten is a word that has had a lot of debate in the food world.

Simply put, gluten is a protein found in wheat.  Over the last decade more cases of gluten sensitivity have been diagnosed.  This is due to the fact that the companies who spray the wheat fields have been using a chemical called glyphosate.  This is the same main chemical used in “roundup” weed killer, and is directly correlated with gluten problems.

Moral of the story… if you don’t have celiac disease, choose organic wheat products because they are not sprayed with this harsh chemical.

In pasta making, gluten is not the enemy, it’s your friend.

Our main goal with kneading the dough is to develop these protein chains.  Gluten is what gives pasta its chewiness and elasticity.  Certain flours have higher amounts of these gluten forming proteins, like bread flour and 00 flour.

This is exactly why gluten free pastas are always disgusting and just don’t cut it.

Want more info on a proper flour guide?

Check out Lucky Peach’s bread bakers guide to flours.

Conclusion

Making pasta from scratch can be somewhat time consuming.  However, with more practice and taking these necessary steps, it becomes second nature.  Anyone can get quicker when they learn just how easy it is.

When you take the time and hand craft your own products they always taste way better.

Fresh pasta is something that brings people together and is meant to be shared.  You will be surprised at how much fun it is making them, and the whole family should join in. There are so many varieties and shapes of pasta, that each time you make them by hand, it’s new and exciting.

yellow corn agnolotti

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Don’t forget to stop by next week as we will be giving tips and tricks on how to make the ultimate porchetta sandwich… the best you’ve ever tasted!