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Lemon & ricotta tortelloni in browned butter sauce

Updated: Oct 24, 2021


Makes 4 serves - Preparation time 1 hour and 30 minutes - cooking time 10 min

Pasta dough:

  • - 180g 00 flour + 20g semolina wheat flour (or 200g all-purpose flour)

  • - 2 eggs


  • - 400g whole milk ricotta (azzurri cheese, That’s amore and Floridia Brands are very good! Please avoid smooth ricotta)

  • - ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • - ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

  • - ½ teaspoon nutmeg, grated (optional)

  • - 1 lemon zest, finely grated

  • - salt and pepper, to taste


  • - 50g butter

  • - 15 sage leaves

  • - ¼ cup walnuts or pine nuts, toasted

  • - Parmigiano Reggiano

  • - 1/2 cup chicken stock

Tools needed:

- a pasta machine

- a Pasta Bike or Pasta cutting wheel (available here), if you don’t have them you can do it with a sharp knife and a ruler.

- a large pot for boiling pasta and a pan to cook sauce

A Pasta Bike or Pasta cutter wheel is an adjustable rolling cutter with several wheels. It is good for cutting large sheets into smaller shapes where uniformity is the key – cutting out many squares for tortelloni.

If you don’t have any of the above a sharp knife and a ruler will do, but it will be much slower!


Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it.

Gently combine eggs with flour using a fork from the middle outwards.

With your hands, gradually incorporate the flour from the outside of the well toward the center, kneading gently until the mass of dough comes together.

Put the dough on a wooden surface and knead it until it is smooth and resilient.

You may need to add more flour, or you may not be able to incorporate all of the flour, depending on the humidity and the size of the eggs. If the dough is sticky or extremely pliable, knead more flour in.

Work the mass of dough with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour for about 10-15 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.

Using the heel of your hand, push the dough down and away from you, fold it in half back toward you, rotate a quarter turn and repeat the kneading motion.

Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour before using.


While the dough is resting prepare the filling:

Mix in a bowl all the ingredients and rest in the fridge until needed.


After the resting time, dust the work surface with some extra flour, take a portion of dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips.

Set the pasta machine at its widest setting, (usually '0, but it depends on the kind of machine you use).

Pass the dough through the rollers once.

Fold the resulting strip into thirds.

Roll the pasta dough through the widest setting 5 times, till your dough has a rectangular shape and is smooth. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it is at all sticky. Narrow the setting of the pasta machine to position '1' and roll the dough through.

Continue passing the dough through the rollers, reducing the thickness by 1 setting each time until it reaches the desired thickness. (I usually use setting 7 on my marcato)

It should now be very delicate, elastic to the touch and slightly translucent.


Place rolled dough onto a work surface dusted with semolina flour.

Using a chef’s knife or a pasta cutter cut the dough into 6 centimeters strips, then turn the cutter 90 degrees and cut again to form squares.

Place cherry sized bits of filling in their center with a spoon. Take one square, fold it in half, corner to corner, to get a triangle. Gently press to seal the edges. Slightly fold the sides over the filling, then roll the corners around one finger at the bottom and press to seal. Proceed till the end.


Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, add the butter and sage to a sauce pan and bring heat to medium-high. When melted, follow with the broth and stir vigorously to emulsify. Season to taste.

Cook tortelloni for about 5 minutes. Drain, toss with sauce and transfer to a platter or individual plates. Spoon more butter sauce over the top. Garnish with the toasted nuts and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.


Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram _pastajourney_ .

I would love to hear from you!

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