Homemade Ricotta and Callaloo Tortellini
Ricotta and spinach are typically known as one of the most classic vegetarian pairings in Italian cooking; however, Cayman Cabana puts a Caymanian twist on this classic. The chefs take the famous ring-shaped egg pasta and use delicious and nutrient-dense callaloo, fresh from farmer Clarence McLaughlin’s garden. This version features both a callaloo dough and filling, served with a creamy homemade alfredo sauce, crushed toasted cashews and crispy fried basil.
Serves 4-6 people
Prep 1 hour, Cook 13 minutes
Ricotta and Callaloo Tortellini
- 10 cups fresh chopped callaloo (stems removed)
- 2 tbsp water
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 ¼ cups grated parmigiana reggiano
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 2 lbs fresh callaloo pasta dough (see recipe at bottom)
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, as needed
1. Place callaloo, water, and a pinch of salt in a pot over medium-high heat; cover pot and cook until callaloo is completely wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze out all the water; let cool.
2. Soften ricotta cheese in a large bowl using a fork until creamy.
3. Squeeze out any excess water from the cooled callaloo. Finely chop or process in a blender. Transfer to the bowl with ricotta. Add parmigiana reggiano, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper; mix well.
4. Divide callaloo pasta dough into 6 equal pieces. Take 1 piece and cover the rest with plastic wrap. Flatten the piece between your palms and press through the widest setting of your pasta machine. Sprinkle flour over dough, fold in half lengthwise, and run through the pasta machine again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, always flouring, folding, and passing through the widest setting until dough is smooth and even in size.
5. Change pasta machine to the middle setting and pass through, then to the last setting. Cut the sheet in half, width-wise. Pass each half through the pasta machine in the thinnest and last setting, creating 2 long and very thin sheets; gently transfer to a floured work surface, trimming edges. Cut into 2 even rectangles.
6. Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Drop a teaspoon of ricotta callaloo filling in the middle of each square. Brush the edges with water and fold over diagonally into a triangle shape. Press well to squeeze out any air. Stretch the 2 ends of the triangle and a fold them together, wrapping them around your finger; seal. Gently fold back the top corner.
7. Transfer the tortellini to a floured plate or work surface. Proceed the same way with remaining dough and filling. Let tortellini stand for 30 minutes.
8. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil; cook tortellini, working in batches, until they float, 6 to 7 minutes.
9. Strain pasta and toss in your favourite homemade alfredo sauce. Top with toasted crushed cashews, and crispy fried basil. Serve hot!
Callaloo Pasta Dough
- 3 ounces fresh callaloo
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, as needed
1. Combine water and ice in a bowl. Preheat a skillet over medium heat; add callaloo. Cook, stirring continuously, about 30 seconds. Plunge into ice water bath; remove and squeeze out excess moisture.
2. Combine callaloo, eggs, olive oil and salt in a food processor; blend until smooth. Add flour; blend until dough no longer sticks to the blades, adding flour as needed.
3. Roll dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.