What I Made: Malabar Spinach Tortellini

Every week, before I pick up my CSA delivery, I get an email with a list of what to expect in that week’s box. Many weeks, this sends me running for Google to figure out just what exactly these mystery vegetables are.

For instance, did you know that Malabar spinach is not actually spinach but is instead an edible vine with leaves that taste a lot like spinach? True, the texture is a bit tougher when the larger leaves are raw, but when cooked, it makes a nice substitute.

I was ambitious with this recipe and made my own pasta! If you are not a crazy person, you can buy pre-made dough, usually in the “natural foods” section of the store.

The recipe looks intense, but it really doesn’t call for any complicated techniques. One of the huge upsides is that once made, the pasta can be frozen. To cook, just boil it until they float.

This is served with a super simple sauce of oil, butter, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts, and parsley, but it looks extra fancy.


Malabar Spinach Tortellini, via The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

For the pasta dough:
2 cups flour
2 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons olive oil or water
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound spinach
1 cup ricotta, drained
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup parsley
2 tabespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper

To make the pasta dough by hand:
1. Mound flour on a clean, flat surface, and hollow out a well in the center.
2. Add eggs, oil/water, and salt to the center. Beat lightly with a fork.
3. Start pulling flour from top of the mound into the wet mixture in the middle.
4. When flour won’t mix in anymore, start kneading the remaining flour into the dough.
5. Knead 3-4 minutes, then let rest in a plastic bag for 10-15 minutes before you try to roll it out.

To make the filling:
1. Dice onion and mince garlic. Remove stems and roughly chop spinach.
2. Add oil and butter to large sauce pan and cook onion and garlic for about 6 minutes.
3. Add spinach, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Cook until the water has evaporated out, then remove from heat and chop very fine.
5. Add spinach to a large bowl and mix with nutmeg, ricotta, and egg.

To make tortellini:
1. Roll out dough and cut into 2 inch circles (I used a plastic cup!)
2. Put a 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center.
3. Fold edges of the pasta into half circle and press together.
4. Hold it crease side up and fold the two bottom corners together around your finger, pressing to secure.
5. Repeat about 3 dozen times.
6. Cook in boiling water about 5-6 minutes.

To make the sauce:
1. Chop and toast walnuts and pine nuts.
2. Mince garlic and chop parsley.
3. Add nuts, garlic and parsley to a large bowl with oil, butter, and cheese.

Add cooked pasta to bowl and toss to melt butter and cheese.


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