Cooking Burrata filled tortellini with a cherry tomato sauce

Burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. James serves his in pasta with a quick tomato sauce and spinach.

Ingredients

For the tortellini

  • 200g/7oz 00 pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g/8oz burrata

For the cherry tomato sauce

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 200g/7oz fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • large handful fresh basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 50g/1¾oz hard Italian cheese, grated
  • baby basil leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. For the tortellini, blend the flour and eggs together in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and squash the crumbs into a ball of dough. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  1. To prepare the pasta, dust the rollers of a pasta machine with flour. The chilled pasta into 3 pieces and flatten each out to a thickness of about 1cm/½in. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and feed one piece of dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and collecting the rolled dough as it comes through the machine with the other. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next thickest setting, dust the rollers with a little flour, then feed the same pasta sheet through the machine again, as before. Repeat this process 3 or 4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time, until you reach the penultimate setting. As your pasta sheet becomes longer it in half so that the rolling process is more manageable. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining pieces of dough. Once all of the dough has been rolled out, you should have six long sheets of pasta.
  2. The pasta sheets into 9cm/4in discs using a cookie cutter. Place one small piece of burrata on top of each pasta circle and brush the edges of each disc with a little water. Bring the edges of each disc together to form a semi-circular shape, pressing the edges together with your fingertips to seal. Bring the pointed ends of the tortellini towards each other around your fingertip to form a ring, then press the corners together using your other hand.
  3. For the cherry tomato sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add the cherry tomatoes and basil and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully lower the tortellini into the boiling water, in batches, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove using a slotted spoon and keeping warm while you cook the remaining tortellini.
  5. To serve, heat a large frying pan and add the butter, once melted add the spinach and a splash of water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted.
  6. Gently mix the tomato sauce with the tortellini until coated. To serve, spoon some of the wilted spinach into the bottom of each serving bowl and put the tortellini and tomato sauce on top. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle some grated Italian cheese and a few small basil leaves on top.

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