Feta Yogurt Tortellini with Parsley Oil
For the pasta and filling:
1 1/2 c (180 g) flour, all purpose or (preferably) ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
1 c (~5.25 oz) crumbled feta*
+3/4 c (200 g) whole yogurt*
For the rest:
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
5 anchovies, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
16 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Plenty of olive oil
1 – 2 parmesan rinds, ~2 x 3 inches each
1 lemon, quartered
Prepare the cheese:
- In a bowl, mix the feta and yogurt. Transfer to a cheese cloth, wrap together and place over a colander and bowl in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to use, squeeze out any extra liquid. Unwrap from the cheese cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to mix and distribute any remaining moisture.
Prepare the parsley oil:
- Coarsely chop the parsley stems and some of the leaves. Place in a bowl and add 1/2 c olive oil. This might end up being too much but you can use any excess. Set aside and let sit for at least 1 hour up to 4 hours.
- Once set, pour the parsley and oil over a cheese cloth into a bowl, squeeze and wring out the oil out through the cloth. The oil will have a light parsley flavor and there will be some bright green color from the soaked parsley.
Prepare the pasta:
- In a bowl, add the flour. Make a well in the center, add the egg, whisk and combine with a fork and then use your hands to combine the dough. Knead until smooth. If your dough is dry, you can add a tiny bit of water or rinse your mixing hand in water and continue kneading to incorporate the water. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour (30 minutes at least), or place if the refrigerator if not using immediately.
- Once rested, roll out the pasta in batches. Use a rolling pin or pasta roller to roll out thin layers. Use a glass or cup to cut circles into the dough for your tortellini ‘wrappers’. Be sure your pasta dough is always covered in plastic wrap to prevent drying (my edges got a bit dry here!).
- In batches, fill the tortellini with the cheese filling, which will depend on how large your wrapper circles are. Mine were about 2 – 3 inches in diameter, and fit about 2 tsp of cheese. To seal, (as needed) run a bit of water around the inside edge of the pasta. Seal into a semi-circle, twist forward and pinch to seal the tortellini dumpling.
Prepare your mise en place and make your dish:
Once the pasta is cooking, this goes quickly, so it’s better to prepare first.
- Chop the olives and lemon. Set aside.
- Pick the parsley leaves off the remaining parsley. Set aside.
- In a large pot, bring the cooking water to a boil. Once boiled, turn the heat to very low just to keep warm.
- In a sautee pan on medium/medium-low heat, add a generous dash of the parsley oil, garlic, anchovies, and a dash of chili flake. You don’t want these to over-brown so err on the lower heat.
- Bring the water back to a boil. Once boiled, add the parmesan rinds. Add the tortellini delicately, stirring occasionally as you add them so they don’t bunch or stick. (Keep an eye on the sautee pan and really lower the heat if needed).
- Cook the pasta to al dente, ~5 minutes (depending on how thin your pasta is) and use a large spoon to transfer the tortellini to a the sautee pan. Don’t worry about draining all the water from the pasta each time you move the pasta into the pan; you want some pasta water to finish the cooking. Gently cook the pasta for another minute or two, cooking down the liquid and coating the pasta.
- Transfer to plates or bowls and garnish with the chopped olives, parsley leaves, parsley oil and lemon juice (one lemon quarter per plate).