Homemade Cheese Tortellini

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Growing up one of my favorite soups was tortellini in brodo. A simple soup of just broth with little light and fluffy tortellini floating around. Tortellini are great in soup, sauce, pasta salads and especially cheesy bakes. To make these vegan is actually very easy and they taste incredible. However, the process for making these is a bit time consuming so do keep that in mind!

RECIPE VIDEO

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Homemade fresh pasta dough is actually very easy to make. You only need a few ingredients and you probably even have them in your pantry. If you want to make this gluten free, a gluten free all purpose flour that is a 1:1 substitute would be best. You can fill these tortellini with anything you like but I kept it nice and simple with tofu ricotta and vegan mozzarella.

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you get a lot out of it. You will get about 60 tortellini which is awesome. You can freeze these or refrigerate them for 2-3 days. They hold up very nicely and they are delicious whether you eat them fresh or a few weeks later.

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INGREDIENTS

Fresh Pasta Dough
3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups warm water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional for color)
1 tbsp olive oil

Filling
10-12 oz firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella, shredded very small

Sauce (this is enough for half the tortellini, double it for the full recipe)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegan butter
Sprinkle of vegan parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Handful baby spinach

METHOD

  1. Prepare the dough by add the flour, salt and turmeric into a bowl. The turmeric is optional to help give some color to the pasta since we are not using eggs which would normally give the pasta a bit of a yellow color. You can leave it out or use it and you don’t taste it.
  2. Mix with a fork until well incorporated. There should be no big clumps of flour. Then add in the olive oil and mix together.
  3. Slowly begin to add the water in and mix. If you have never made dough by hand I highly suggest you watch the YouTube video for help. I like to add it in at about 1/4 cup increments. This allows you to not add too much water. The amount of water you need can vary depending on how much flour you actually ended up using and the weather. Some days I have used 1 and 1/2 cups of water and other days I use 1 cup. As you add the water in continue to mix the dough with a fork and it will eventually reach a state where it needs to be kneaded by hand. The dough should be holding it’s shape, no big dry clumps of flour and it will look like it needs to be kneaded.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands into a smooth ball. The dough should be very soft, smooth and easily form a ball. You can then place it in a lightly oiled bowl covered in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. You can also leave this in your fridge for up to 2 days if covered in cling wrap.
  5. While the dough is chilling make the tofu ricotta. Add the tofu, salt, nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk into a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until it resembles the texture of ricotta. It should be thick and somewhat chunky.  You may need to add a little more or less plant milk depending on how much tofu you use. Also, be sure to taste it to make sure it is salty enough. Then add the tofu ricotta into a bowl with the vegan mozzarella and mix to incorporate.
  6. You can add the filling mixture into a piping bag if you like or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off. It makes the process of add the filling very easy.
  7. Once the dough has chilled for at least 45 minutes you can roll it out.
  8. Lightly flour your clean surface and cut the dough in half. I find it easier to work with halves instead of the whole thing at once.
  9. Using a rolling pin begin to roll the dough. You can also use a pasta machine and it will make your life easier. However, if you don’t have one you can roll it by hand. It will take about 10-15 minutes to roll it out because you need to make it very thin. As thin as you can possibly get it is best. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because you do not want to have thick, doughy tortellini. They should be light and fluffy and they can only be that way if the dough is thin. It should be almost see through.
  10. Now using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, glass or I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup begin to cut out circles. I got 27 circles from my dough. Any scraps cannot be worked back together and rolled up again but you can use them just as a little fresh pasta. While you cut the circles be sure to keep them covered with a dish towel so they do not dry out.
  11. Once all your circles are done, take a small dollop of the filing about the size of a big blueberry (1/4 tsp to a 1/2 tsp) and place it in the center. If you put in too much filling it will spill out.
  12. Using your finger add some water to one half of the circle so when you fold the circle in half the two edges will meet and stick together.
  13. To fold the tortellini take circle and fold it in half so you now have a half circle. Then take the top of the half circle and fold it down back towards the bottom so you have a rectangle. Then pick up the rectangle and wrap the two outside edges around your finger to close this and make a circle. Be sure to tightly squeeze any outside edges to seal it. IF YOU NEED HELP BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THIS. The tortellini do not need to be perfect they look beautiful no matter how they come out. Just be sure they are sealed.
  14. While you work on the tortellini be sure they are covered so they do not get dried out. Once all your tortellini are done you can either cook, refrigerate or freeze them. They will last in the refrigerator 2-3 days covered. To freeze them put them on a sheet pan first and let them freeze for an hour or until solid then transfer them into a container. They will last about a month in the freezer.
  15. To cook them right now simply add them into a pot of boiling salted water. They will float to the top when they are done but I like to let them cook an extra minute or two after they have floated.
  16. To make a simple sauce add all the sauce ingredients into a pan and mix together. Then add the cooked tortellini in there with some fresh spinach. Cover it to so the spinach wilts.
  17. Garnish it with some red pepper flakes, dried parsley and vegan parmesan.

Serves 3-5 depending on if it is an appetizer or main dish.

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