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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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