Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni with Sage Butter

by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

I always strive to improve my pasta technique. After 40 years of making pasta, I still learn every single time new and better ways to get the pasta more supple

- Chef Daniel Morduchowicz


Main Course
Servings (about 15 tortelloni per person)
Calories Per Serving
Prep Time
45 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Resting time
1/2 hour, could be extended to 24 hours
Total Time
2 hours


For the dough

  • 240 grams 00 flour
  • 150 grams eggs
For serving
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
For the filling
  • 100 grams frozen spinach or fresh spinach
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • salt to taste
For the sauce
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • A bunch of sage leaves


  1. Measure your flour and eggs very carefully. For this pasta we are looking for a ratio of 62.5% eggs to flour.
  2. Because eggs are different in size, I prefer to weigh the raw eggs after breaking them into a bowl.
  3. Then I apply a formula to know how much flour will be needed. The formula is:
    1. Weight of eggs in grams*100/62.5 = Weight of flour in grams necessary.
  4. Place your flour in a contained area on your working table. With the same bowl, upside down, create a well in the middle of the flour pile, large enough to contain all your eggs.The walls of this well should be even and thick enough to contain all your eggs in the next step.
  5. Pour all your eggs into the middle of your well. With the help of a spoon, mix the egg yolks and whites, gently. You do not have to mix them completely. Gradually start incorporating flour into the egg mixture until the dough begins to form, first by thickening the egg mixture, then becoming a dough.
  6. Knead the dough by pushing it gently, folding it into itself, rotating 45 degrees and repeating several times until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough is ready when pushing into it with one finger, it wants to spring back.
  7. Wrap gently in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 1/2 hour, up to 24 hours (the dough will become more extensible, and have a better gluten structure.)
While the dough is resting, make your filling. Filling
  1. Dice the onion and sweat in a skillet at low heat with a bit of canola or olive oil and a pinch of salt, until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the spinach, mix and cover. Alternatively, if using fresh spinach, you could steam it, then mix with the onions.
  3. When the spinach has wilted, mix with the ricotta and blend using a hand blender. Alternatively you could use a food processor. In both cases you want the filling to be very smooth.
  4. Taste and adjust for salting.
  5. Place in a piping bag and allow to cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Rolling the dough and shaping If making tortellini:
  1. After the resting period, pat the dough down into a disc.
  2. Stretch using a pasta roller up to level 6 (depending on your pasta machine)
  3. Alternatively, and much better, roll on a wooden board with a long rolling pin (called a matarello in Italy)
  4. You will always roll the dough away from you, starting from the middle out. Rotate the dough about 20 degrees and repeat. Keep repeating this motion many times until the dough is very thin.
  5. Cut the dough into 3 inch squares.
  6. Place a dollop of your filling on the center of each square.
  7. Working one by one, bring two opposing tips of each pasta square together, forming a triangle, and press firmly on the sides to make sure the tortelloni is well closed.
  8. Form a channel on both sides of the triangle. Wrap around your index finder, and bring the other two tips together, pressing hard to make sure the pasta will be thin when cooking.
If making ravioli: The instructions below are for using a pasta roller and a ravioli mold. You can also roll the pasta dough as described above in the instructions for making tortellin using a rolling pin I like using a  ravioli mold that looks like the photo below. This makes it easy and your ravioli will look wonderful. 2 Sets Ravioli Mold Extra Large Ravioli Maker Press 12 Holes 1.5 Inch Round Russian Dumplings Making Kit Square Ravioli Maker Double Ravioli Cutter Pastry Wheel Cutter Pasta Tools for Kitchen
  1. Cut and measure 170 grams of pasta dough.
  2. Press into a rectangular shape with the aid of a rolling pin.
  3. Roll a little bit with the rolling pin so the dough will not be too thick, to allow it to go more easily through the pasta roller.
  4. If you notice the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour to both of its surfaces. Try not to over do it as more flour will tend to make your finished pasta a little bit chewier.
  5. Set the pasta roller to either #0 or #1. It will depend on your pasta roller. What you want is the position in which the metal rollers are at their widest.
  6. Roll the pasta through the roller at this setting. If you notice the dough is a little sticky add a bit more flour again. Again, try to minimize the amount of extra flour used.
  7. Reset the pasta roller to the next step, and roll your pasta again.
  8. Repeat until you get to #6 in most cases. You can experiment with which setting yields the results you are after.
  9. The dough should be a little over twice as long as the ravioli mold, since we are going to need a pasta sheet for the bottom and a pasta sheet for the top.
  10. Cut the dough in half and flour very well just one side of one of the halves.
  11. Flip the dough onto the metal part of the ravioli mold, with the more heavily floured side touching the metal part.
  12. Use the plastic part that is part of the ravioli mold set, pushing down gently to create an indentation where the filling will go.
  13. Remove the plastic shaper, and fill each individual ravioli with your filling, using the piping bag.
  14. Place the second half of pasta on top. Pat gently with your hands to make sure everything is even.
  15. Use a rolling pin to run across the pasta to cut the ravioli really well. the rolling pin will do so against the metal cutting shape in the ravioli mold.
  16. Dust with a heavy amount of flour, then unmold into a sheet tray.
Cooking, saucing and serving
  1. Boil a large amount of water and salt heavily, tasting repeatedly to make sure it tastes like the ocean.
  2. Drop your pasta in this water, wait for it to float, and cook for at least 2 more minutes until the pasta is al dente. You can take one out and taste it, or feel the tip with your fingers, looking for it to be soft.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the butter and sage together in a large pan under medium fire. Allow the butter to brown, but not to burn. It is very nice when the sage gets crispy, because then it is edible and it adds a nice, crunchy element to your dish.
  4. When the pasta is ready, scoop out of the water and dump directly into your butter sage mixture.
  5. Cook for a few minutes allowing the pasta to absorb some of the sauce.
  6. Serve immediately with some parmesan cheese.


Making stuffed pasta with your own hands is very fulfilling. Once you learn how to do it you can play around with the filling and your sauces. At first it takes quite a bit of time but as you get used to the process you should be able to make it very quickly and enjoy a delicious meal from ingredients that are usually in your pantry and your refrigerator. Play around with the stuffing ingredients and create your own version. Take this recipe only as a guide towards your own creative ways to make this dish.

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