Eggplant and Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Thyme Sauce

From A Villa In Tuscany

Tortelloni are larger than tortellini. These delicious ones are formed in the shape of half-moons.

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Thyme Sauce


2 small Italian eggplants (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs, minced
1/2 cup beef broth or vegetable broth
5 ounces fresh white goat cheese

Thyme Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup minced fresh thyme leaves
1 2/3 cups cream or half-and-half
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 sheets fresh pasta dough (8”x16” sheets)
Thyme sprigs for garnish

  1. Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Cover the eggplant with a plate topped with a weight such as a heavy can. Let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse, then pat the eggplant dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the eggplant, garlic, and minced thyme for 3 minutes. Add the broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the liquid completely evaporates; add more broth as necessary. Remove from heat and let cool. In a food processor, purée the goat cheese and eggplant mixture until smooth.
  3. To make the sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the thyme until the butter begins to brown. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan, simmer for 3 minutes, and set aside.
  4. Using a 3- to 4-inch round cutter, punch out rounds from the rolled pasta dough. Add 1 teaspoon filling to the center of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Dip your fingers into a glass of water and moisten the edges of each circle. Fold over one side of the dough to form a half-moon, then press to seal with your fingers. Using the tines of a fork, crimp the edges to seal completely. Transfer the sealed pasta to a lightly floured baking sheet.
  5. In a large pot, bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add salt generously. Drop in the tortelloni and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they float to the top.
  6. Gently drain the tortelloni and transfer them to the pan with the thyme sauce. Stir gently until thoroughly coated with the sauce. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

FromA Villa In Tuscany by Sharon O'Connor