Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tortelloni alle Mele


We had a gazillion other things to do, but we went back to Tutto Mele anyway, lured by the fascination with tortelloni with apple inside. We were in luck as they had a fresh made supply of plump tortelloni. I'm glad we made the effort as they were were fabulously delicious.
The small family pastificio (pasta only shop)in nearby Barge, a small farming community just outside the mouth of our valley and hugging the feet of the mountains, created and produced these fabulously plump tortelloni. Most of us are familiar with the smallish tortellini that are readily found in the US. Here it's not unusual to find these larger fresh fat boys, that are always delish. The pasta for the 50/50 blend of apple and ricotta was a sturdy semolina egg dough with beets added to give it a wow factor. The young woman behind the counter, the daughter of the shop owners and creators of these unusual creations, suggested that a light touch with an accompanying sauce should be used to strike the right balance so as not to cover the delicate flavor. The local favorite of butter with sage or walnut was one suggestion or a light Gorgonzola sauce struck me as the right contrast. So we settled on the festival special of 11 tortelloni for 6 euros and mixed up the purchase with 4 apple, 4 truffle and ricotta and 3 chestnut and ricotta.

As usual, when you simmer colored pasta, it loses it vibrant, inviting color, making it a little difficult to get a gorgeous photo with a layer of Gorgonzola oozing over, but in spite of the challenges of the final finished product, I can say that they were outstanding. The suggested 10 minutes to cook them was a perfect amount of time and the sauce was just right. I would say that when I give this idea a go, I think I will increase the amount of apple. My preference would be a slightly more pronounced apple presence and maybe even an apple inspired sauce to boot.

Apple Tortelloni with Gorgonzola sauce

Then there were the ones with then truffle mixed in with the ricotta.

They were superb!
Toss the cooked pasta directly into your pan with the melted butter and fresh slivered sage, that has been gently sauteed till fragrant and gently mix. Plate and garnish with freshly shaved or grated parmigiana, topped off with a drop or two of truffle oil. It was divine.

Hum? I wonder what I should toss the chestnut ones in tonight?
Any suggestions from any of you?
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