Tortellini with ricotta, Mediterranean herbs and spring vegetables

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Massimo Spigaroli's tortellini recipe celebrates classic Italian flavours, with the tender pasta parcels packed with ricotta, Parmesan and a mixture of Mediterranean herbs (the chef recommends basil, rosemary and oregano). A buttery Parmesan glaze finishes the pasta off to perfection, while lightly fried asparagus, broccoli and spinach add colour and flavour to the plate. To make this meat-free starter fully vegetarian swap the Parmesan for a hard cheese made with vegetable rennet.

First published in 2016




Pasta dough

  • 500g of 00 flour
  • 3 eggs, plus extra for sealing
  • water
  • salt

Ricotta and herb filling

  • 400g of ricotta
  • 50g of basil, rosemary and oregano
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 150g of Parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper

Spring vegetables

To serve


  • Piping bag and nozzle
  • Pasta machine
  • Fluted pasta wheel/cutter


Begin by making the dough for the tortellini. Mix together the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add some water a little at a time until the mixture comes together to form a smooth dough. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film, then leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour
  • 500g of 00 flour
  • 3 eggs, plus extra for sealing
  • water
  • salt
While the dough is resting, prepare the herbs and spring vegetables. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and briefly add the herbs. Drain and refresh in cold water, then finely chop with a sharp knife. Mix with the melted butter and set aside until ready to make the filling
  • 50g of basil, rosemary and oregano
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
In a separate pan, boil or steam the asparagus and broccoli for 3 minutes, until just tender. Refresh in cold water and set aside
For the filling, mix together the chopped herbs, ricotta, Parmesan, egg and nutmeg. Season well to taste and transfer to a piping bag, leaving to rest in the fridge until required
Remove the rested pasta dough from the fridge and roll out evenly into a long, thin sheet using a pasta machine. Cut the sheet in half lengthways and set one aside (alternatively, slice the ball of dough into two even pieces and roll each out separately to the same shape and thickness)
Cover one sheet of dough with a tea towel to prevent the pasta from drying out. Working quickly, brush the dough with a little beaten egg and pipe mounds of filling in neat rows across the other pasta sheet, spaced out in roughly 4cm intervals
Brush the reserved pasta sheet with egg and lay over the top egg-side down, pressing carefully around the mounds to push out any air. Using a round pasta cutter, cut out circles of tortellini (with the filling mounds in the middle) and press the edges carefully to seal
Wrap the filled pasta discs into traditional tortellini shape. Fold the bottom third of the pasta disc up towards the centre to form a semi-circle, then fold the outside edges into the centre. Press gently to seal, then place the tortellini on a tray and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the tortellini, cooking for 3–4 minutes. In a separate pan, lightly fry the blanched asparagus and broccoli in butter and add the spinach, allowing the spinach to wilt
Drain the pasta, then transfer to a clean pan with grated Parmesan and butter. Cook for a further 2 minutes, tossing the tortellini in the pan to fully coat in the buttery Parmesan
To serve, divide the cooked vegetables between plates and top with the tortellini. Scatter over a little extra ricotta and finish with a drizzle of buttery Parmesan from the pan

Working on his grandfather's farm, Massimo Spigaroli manages to run a Michelin-starred restaurant at the same time as his charcuterie business, which produces the best Culatello in the world.

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