Giant Tortellini Stuffed With Ground Beef & Spinach Brings A Cheesy Surprise To The Table

What's so special about tortellini? To that we say: everything! In fact, the only thing that could be improved upon would be its size. Sure, some people might say that if you want a bigger stuffed pasta, you could just make ravioli, manicotti, or even tortelloni, but that just wasn't big enough for our tastes. This gigantic tortellini gives you the pleasure of an oversized delicious dumpling, and what's better than Italian pasta specialties? Italian pasta specialties that really fill you up!

You'll need:

For the dough:

  • 2x 7 oz flour
  • 2x 3 eggs
  • 2x 3½ oz semolina flour
  • 1½ oz tomato paste
  • water for brushing
  • flour for work surface

For the filling:

  • cooking oil
  • 9 oz ground beef
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 oz grated parmesan
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 1 oz cream cheese

For the garnish:

  • béchamel sauce
  • bacon bits

Here's how:

1. For this recipe, you'll make one plain dough ball and one red dough ball. Mix two portions of dough using flour, eggs, and semolina flour. Add the tomato paste to one of the bowls and this will create the red dough. Knead the contents of both bowls with your hands for about 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms. Roll each dough portion into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Now cut approximately ½-inch thick slices from both dough balls. Now you will stack the dough slices — brush each dough slice before stacking it on top of the previous dough slice and be sure to alternate plain dough and red dough. Repeat until all of the dough slices are stacked on top of each other. Form the stack into a cube shape and chill for another 30 minutes.

3. For the first tortellini piece, cut 3x ½-inch thick slices from the dough cube. Flour your work surface and roll each slice into an oval, making sure not to roll it too thin. Now brush the edge of each dough sheet with water and then press the edge of the next next dough sheet on top of it. Repeat with the other slices so that you are left with one final dough sheet. Cut a uniform square (about 8 in x 8 in) out of the dough sheet.

4. For the filling, first fry the ground beef in a little bit of oil. Then add the peppers, onion, and garlic and lightly fry them. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, mix everything together, and let the spinach cook down. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the contents into a bowl, and let the mixture cool down until it reaches room temperature. Add the parmesan cheese, egg yolk, and bread crumbs and thoroughly mix everything together.

5. For the second part of the filling, stir the cream cheese and mozzarella cheese together and form two equally sized balls. Freeze the cheese balls.

6. Put 2 tbsp of the meat filling in the center of the dough square and place one of the frozen cheese balls on top. Cover the cheese ball with 1 tbsp of the meat filling. Brush the edges of the dough square with water, fold the dough over the top diagonally, and seal the edges. Finally, make a ring shape out of the sealed dough triangle.

Tip: To make your XXL tortellini even better, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

7. Heat a saucepan full of salted water and bring it to a boil. Submerge the tortellini in the water and let it cook for 10 minutes.

8. Now all that's left to do is garnish the delicious dumpling! Pour a few spoonfuls of hot béchamel sauce over the tortellini and sprinkle some bacon bits over the top.

Hopefully this recipe will help put an end to the myth that making noodles is incredibly difficult. As you can see, the hardest part will be managing to get all the ingredients together. Besides, any challenges or difficulties will be instantly forgotten the second you take a bite of this Italian delicacy.


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