I found myself with a ridiculous amount of roast chicken leftover from Sunday's dinner and I hate to waste food. So I threw it in a blender along with a handful of spinach, olive oil, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I didn't measure, just eyeballed the whole thing. But the result was incredibly velvety and just perfect to fill raviolis or tortellinis. With two munchkins at home, I strive to make things I can freeze and have available for a quick yummy dinner. This is one of those meals. The tortellini freezes beautifully.
Cooked chicken from either a roast or grilled chicken. You will need about 3-4 cups.
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese OR Pecorino Romano
3 tablespoons olive oil
A nice big handful of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Homemade pasta dough or you can try buying fresh pasta dough (sheets)
1. Place cooked chicken, Ricotta cheese, choice of grated cheese, olive oil in a Vitamin or blender.
2. Add spinach and after a quick blitz you will have a lovely green paste ready to pipe into the tortellini. If your mixture is too thick and doesn't look like a soft puree, add more Ricotta and a bit more oil.
3. Homemade paste or store bought fresh pasta sheets (For homemade pasta, process a sheet of dough to level 3 in terms of thickness.) Lay the sheets out on a floured surface and cut 3 inch squares. Then using a teaspoon, or if your like me, a piping bag with the puree in it, put a small amount of puree in the center of each square. Should be about the size of a quarter and no higher than 1/2 ".
4. Place a bowl of water next to you and dip your finger in the water and then run your wet finger along the edges of a square. Fold over one corner and press it to the opposite corner. So now you have a triangle. Make sure the ends are all fused together by gently pressing the edges.
Now, gather and join the two points from the longest side of the triangle. Press to fuse them. I use my finger and wrap the tortellini around it.
Place the tortellini on a baking sheet so that the pointy flap bends and the freshly fused edges touch the baking sheet. See picture below.
Freeze on baking sheet until completely frozen. Then pick off the tortellini and place in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. To cook them, boil a pot of water. Once you've reached a full rolling boil, add salt. Cook the tortellini until they float. Then wait 3-5 minutes and drain them. Serve with a bit of butter and parmesan cheese or your favorite tomato sauce.