Tortelli Di Ricotta





Recipe by Michael White, first published on

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3/4 pound Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pound fresh pasta sheets
  • 1/4 cup shelled fava beans, blanched
  • 1/4 cup asparagus tips, blanched
  • 1/2 cup leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of salted boiling water until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Drain and shock under cold water. Thinly slice asparagus on the bias. Squeeze out any excess water. In a large mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, lightly beaten eggs and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

On a lightly floured work surface, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter and ruler to trim the pasta into a 6- x 18 inch rectangle. Cut the pasta into twelve 3-inch squares: first cut it in half horizontally, then cut it vertically into 3-inch strips to make 12 squares. Repeat for each sheet.

Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of each square. Lightly brush the edges of each square with water and cover with another square. Press the pasta with your fingertips to seal the ball of filling inside, making sure to press out all of the air. Trim the edges with a zigzag pasta wheel and set on parchment paper-lined baking sheet lightly dusted with flour or cornmeal. Continue with the remaining pasta and filling until all the squares are filled.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortelli and cook until they rise to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.

While your pasta is cooking, melt four tablespoons of butter until foaming in a medium-high heat sauce pan. Season with salt, to taste. Add the cooked pasta. Add leeks, fava beans and asparagus tips. Add a few tablespoons of cooking water reserved from the pasta. Remove from heat and add basil chiffonade. Sprinkle with cheese and swirl pan off heat so cheese incorporates but does not become grainy. Plate and drizzle with basil oil and fresh basil.

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