Introduction: Tricolor Tortellini Filled With Mushroom

About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

My first reaction to the Italian Food Contest was: what am I supposed to do with it, I'm no Italian. Then I searched internet for what ingredients, herbs, spices are used in Italian cuisine, what are Italian candies, what are Italian dumplings. I got a few interesting findings, like the peasant food gnocchi, which is very close to a peasant food eaten by people from where I was born and have grown up.

The most interesting finding is what I call "Italian tortellini meet Chinese dumplings or vice versa". I didn't know when the adults were making Chinese dumplings during holidays, we children were making Italian tortellini because it's a simpler form, we just didn't call it Italian tortellini. There are differences in flours, colors, forms, and the sauce/dressing/dip. 

I do have something to do with Italian Food Contest.

This  Instructables shows how to make fresh tricolor tortellini from scratch and shaping of the Chinese dumplings for " "Italian tortellini meet Chinese dumplings" part if I can successfully upload a video for the first time.

To make the tricolor tortellini, I used:

For the dough:
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 cup fine semolina
3 small eggs, beaten
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 oz cooked spinach, drained throughly, finely chopped

For mushroom filling:
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
20 oz large mushrooms, washed and finely chopped
1/2 of a carrot, finely chopped (optional)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp brandy
1/4 tsp nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp low fat ricotta cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

For yogurt dip:
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

Put the oil and garlic into a sauce pan, cover, place over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add in mushroom, thyme, salt and brandy.
Cover the pan and simmer the mixture over low heat for 20 minutes.
Then remove the lid, increase heat,  and cook briskly for a few seconds to remove excess moisture, stir continiously.
Transfer the mixture into a bowl, season with the nutmeg, black pepper, beat in ricotta cheese and parsley, set the filling aside to cool and proceed to make the three pastas. 

Step 2: Make Tricolor Doughs

Put bread flour, semolina, salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well, add beaten eggs and rub with hands to form fine crumbs. Divide it into three equal parts.
Add water, a little at a time-up to 4 table spoons to one of the three above flour crumbs until the dough forms a ball. Cover the ball with a plastic wrap and set aside.  
Add the tomato paste to the second part of the flour crums, add water, a little at a time-2 or 3 tbsp until the dough forms a ball. Cover the ball with a plastic wrap and set aside.
Add the spinach to the third part of the flour crums, form it to a ball. You may or may not need water. I didn't need water. Cover the ball with a plastic wrap and set aside.

Step 3: Roll Out the Pastas

If you have a pasta machine you probably already know how to use it. I don't yet, so I rolled them out by hand. I divided each dough into 4 quarters, keep all surfaces floured, roll one on roller pin, press down quite hard as I roll as thin as possible, untill I have rolled all of them out.

This is easier said than done. It was a lot work. My palms and arms hurt when finished. So please help me by voting this Instructables for the Italian Food Contest if it helped you in any way. Maybe I won the pasta machine and my hands and arms would be saved. 

Below is a link to my Youtube video showing how to roll out the pastas by hand if you are interested:
[[Video( ]]

Step 4: Shaping Tortellini

With a 2 inch cookie cutter, cup or cap, cut circles from a sheet of pasta. Put 1/2 tsp filling in the center of each circle.
Fold over the circle to form a half-moon containing the filling, pinch the edges of the dough together.
Take one end of each half moon in either hand and curve it gently until its ends overlap, pinch the overlapping ends together securely.

Step 5: Italian Tortellini Meets Chinese Dumpling

[[Video( ]]
Pictures of Italian tortellini brought up my experience with Chinese dumplings. Making and eating Chinese dumplings is a significant event. When adults shape standard Chinese dumplings, children are allowed to make them in a simpler form, which I didn't know until now is exactly the shape of Italian tortellini (translated as Italian dumplings). Chinese dumplings are shaped in a fashion like a sewing slip stitch which is hard for children to do, so they are encouraged to make simpler dumplings to help out with the big family affair.
For the first time, I'm trying to embed a Youtube video showing how to shape the Chinese dumplings in comparison to the tortellini if anybody interested. If it didn't work, you can always visit this link:

Besides the shape, Chinese dumplings dough usually is made of just flour, water and salt, while Italian tortellini dough has semolina, and egg too.

The biggest difference between Chinese dumplings and Italian dumplings is the sauce. Chinese dumplings are eaten with a hot spicy sauce made of garlic paste, hot chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil, while Italian tortellini I have seen are eaten with yogurt dip .

Step 6: Cook Tortellini

In a pan or pot, bring 7 cups of slightly salted water to a boil, gently drop about one third of the tortellini into water, bring it back to a boil, and cook until they rise to the top - 5 to 8 minutes. Cook the remaining tortellini in batches. You may brush extra virgin olive oil on them. Keep the cooked tortellini warm in a covered container in a low oven before serve.

Step 7: Make the Dip

Saute the crushed garlic in the oil for 5 minutes, then transfer the garlic to a bowl. Add the yogurt, parsley, lemon zest and salt, and blend the mixture with a fork.

Dip and enjoy!  

What's the worst thing after all the work: people didn't like it. No fear or worst thing for me. My family liked it, dipped happily and ate quickly and a lot.

Thanks for visiting and voting.

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