I'm a bit behind on my The Walking Dead dinner posts. I have decided that every week that the show is on, I will cook a nice dinner. Ones that take time and patience and effort. Ones that can take up an entire Sunday cooking. Plus, I get my DirecTV on Eastern times for the cable channels, so I can watch either a 6pm showing or a 7pm showing. Just in time for dinner, with a backup episode in case my dinner making runs a bit long.
This week (or well, a week and a half ago), I dragged out my Babbo cookbook. I bought this in a frenzy of excitement a couple years ago after having the pasta tasting menu in New York. And then once I saw how obscure some of the ingredients were, I kind of stopped being motivated to cook from it.
In an act of total blasphemy, I did not make my own pasta. Umm, I used leftover wonton wrappers. It's like the same thing right?! Probably not, but Boyfriend is Italian and he had no complaints. In fact, I made him right ravioli (bigger than the ones shown above; those were folded nicely but then I got tired of trying to race the clock so I just used two wrappers and filled the middle) and then he asked if there were any more. I ended up wrapping him seven additional ones - fifteen in all! Italian ravioli made with Taiwanese (ok Chinese/Asian) wonton wrappers ... this dish is a perfect marriage of each of our cultural representations.
Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Fennel Pollen
from The Babbo Cookbook
* I halved this recipe for the two of us; double ingredients for full recipe
1 cup soft goat cheese, preferably Coach Farm
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbps plus 2 Tbps freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
6-7 fennel fronds
1 Tbps orange peel strips, cut into thin slices
1 1/2 tsp fennel pollen (I omitted this)
Heat oven to 200 F. Place orange zest on a baking sheet and place in oven for 30 minutes to create dried orange zest.
In a large bowl, mash the goat cheese with milk until soft. Add herbs, nutmeg, 2 Tbsp cheese, salt and pepper; stir well. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes or more.
Place 2 tsp of goat cheese filling in the center of wonton wrapper. Fold the opposite corners together to form a triangle and press the edges together firmly to seal. Bring the long points of the triangle together and join with firm finger pressure. Continue filling and shaping tortelloni, on cookie sheets, between layers of waxed paper. Alternatively, you can place 1 Tbps of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper and lay another wonton wrapper on top of it. Use water to seal the edges together.
Place 6 quarts of water into a pasta pot, bring to a boil and add 2 Tbps of salt. Drop the tortelloni into the boiling water and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Carefully drain the tortelloni well, reserving about one cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat butter and 2 Tbps of the pasta water together until butter melts and forms emulsification. Add cooked tortelloni, fennel fronds and orange zest to pan to gently heat and coat with sauce, about 1 minute. Divide onto warmed plates, topping tortelloni with fennel fronds and orange zest. Finish with a sprinkling of fennel pollen and the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.