It’s that time of year again when all homestead kitchens are overrun with fresh eggs and we’re scrambling trying to find out the best way to use the bounty. We’ve all water glassed, pickled, and frittataed and dutch babied our way through the summer but there’s one more way that we can preserve this perfect butt fruit super food. PASTA!
Today I’m begging you to make this homemade tortellini with me. Don’t skip away thinking that it will be too hard. I promise you, it’s not. And bonus, it only involves a few ingredients for a fun meal you could make together as a family. So gather your flour, eggs, and hopefully some homemade goat cheese and let’s get started!
How to Make Fresh Homemade Pasta
First you’ll want to add 4 Cups of flour to a large mixing bowl. Lehman’s sent me this mixing bowl and it’s been a game changer. For those of you who don’t know, we are a family of six living in a 1972 Airstream while we build our homestead from the ground up. Yeah, 200 sq ft of togetherness, homesteading, building stuff in the desert of Arizona. Let’s just say, if I can find time to make pasta, I’m sure you can too :) And having a bowl that’s actually big enough to make all the pasta we need helps. Let me show you how easy it is.
Make a well in the center of your flour and crack in 6 fresh eggs in the center. Now we just mix those eggs inside the well of flour and then gently begin knocking in flour as you mix it up. Once the dough begins to come together you can start kneading it with your hands, getting every last piece. If it looks too dry, feel free to dip your fingertips in some water and splatter the dough just a bit. Not too much! No one wants soggy pasta.
This is a large batch of pasta, so you may want to divide it into 4 pieces for the next kneading session. You’ll want to really work this dough for about 4-5 minutes or until it becomes shiny and smooth. Once you get that texture, place the dough ball under a damp dish towel on the counter and repeat with the left over dough. Allow all the dough to rest under the damp towel for a good 30 minutes. We want that gluten to fully rest and relax. At this time, you can begin getting your large pot of water ready.
Use a Pasta Maker to Get Your Dough Just Right
Once the dough has had enough time to rest, it’s time to grab your pasta maker! What’s that you say? You don’t have one? Well, you need to head over to Lehman’s shop and add this Atlas Pasta Machine to your cart! If you have a homestead and fresh eggs, I highly recommend a pasta maker. You’ll save money by making your own pasta AND impress your next guests when you serve them this homemade tortellini.
Begin by rolling out one dough ball just slightly so that it can pass through the largest setting on the pasta machine, mine is the ‘0’ setting. Roll it through then fold into thirds and pass through 2 more times. Folding it like this will give you a nice rectangular piece of pasta. But wait…there’s more!
Once you reach the number 3 setting I’m about to blow your mind! Okay, maybe not but this is still pretty cool. We’re going to make a continuous loop of pasta by folding it over on its self. Once the pasta passes through half way on the number 3 setting, overlap it and continue cranking it through. Now with a loop of pasta all you have to do is adjust the thickness every round it goes through. We will stop after it runs through the number 6 setting.
Hand Folding the Tortellini
Now you can cut it and lay it out on a lightly floured surface. If you have help like I often do, your kids can begin cutting out circles of pasta. We use small mouth ball jar lids because we live in 200 sq ft and don’t have a biscuit cutter. Maybe one day…
Once your circles are cut out, grab some fresh goat cheese that you made this morning…what’s that you say? No goat cheese? We’ve got a super easy recipe to make your own in this video. Okay, choose your favorite soft cheese and lets get stuffing. We’ll add about a teaspoon (maybe more) of cheese to the center of the pasta circle. Then dip your finger in some water and apply to half of the circles’ edge. Fold over the circle and press the edges together. Then grab the corners and bring around the pasta and with that damp finger pinch them together so they stay put! You just made your first tortellini. Only 50 more to go :)
Seriously, this is an easy job, especially if you have helpers. I still think this would be an awesome girls night activity. Get your closest friends together, make some pasta, and talk about who has the most chickens or who’s goats destroyed the most things this week.
Cooking and Serving the Pasta
Now you’ve got a bunch of tortellini, it’s time to cook it up! If you live in the desert like we do you’ll want to do this quickly as the pasta will dry out in no time.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous helping of salt since we didn’t salt the pasta. They’ll be finished in 5-6 minutes, drain and serve with your favorite sauce, pesto, cheese, butter, garlic. Whatever your heart desires!
I hope this inspires you to try something new, and if you’re used to making your own pasta and this is too simple…can we be friends?
Many thanks to Lehman’s for sending us these tools, so we can show you some great new ways to preserve or use up your excess of eggs!
Need further instruction? Watch the how-to video below.