Chefs' Recipes

Al Dente's tortellini cacio e pepe

All the goodness of cacio e pepe coddled in a silky pasta wrapping.

By Andrea Vignali & Davide Bonadiman
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 15 mins cooking (plus chilling)
  • Serves 6
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"It was the first week of Al Dente. We were eating cacio e pepe and thinking about what we could do," says Andrea Vignali, co-owner of Melbourne's Al Dente. "So we decided to put the filling on the inside. Now it's our signature."
This recipe serves 6 as a main, or 8 as a starter.

Ingredients

  • 1 quantity pasta dough
  • 200 gm butter
  • Finely grated pecorino, to serve
  • Fine durum wheat semolina flour, for dusting
Filling
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 50 gm butter
  • 60 gm plain flour
  • 1 tbsp finely ground black pepper
  • 100 gm finely grated pecorino
  • 50 gm finely grated Grana Padano

Method

  • 1
    Make pasta dough and sheets according to Al Dente's pasta dough recipe.
  • 2
    For filling, place cream and milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and keep warm. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and scatter over flour, whisking continuously, until flour mixture begins to catch on bottom of the pan (3 minutes). Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in pepper until smooth and season to taste. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir in cheeses. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese has melted (2 minutes). Season to taste and remove from heat. Blend mixture with a stick blender until smooth. Cover with a cartouche and refrigerate for 2 hours or until cooled to room temperature.
  • 3
    To prepare pasta sheets, using a sharp knife cut out 7.5cm pasta squares from pasta sheets (discard scraps) and place in a single layer on a tray dusted with extra semolina.
  • 4
    To make tortellini, spoon filling into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm nozzle. On a lightly dusted clean work bench, lay your pasta and pipe 10gm filling into the middle of each square. Working with one square of pasta at a time, lightly brush edges with water, fold over to enclose to form an even triangle and press edges to seal, ensuring no air is trapped inside. Brush ends lightly with water, bring together, press to seal and set aside on a lightly floured tray. Repeat with remaining pasta squares and filling. Makes 70-72.
  • 5
    To cook tortellini, fill a large saucepan three-quarters full with salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add pasta, in batches, and return to the boil and cook, stirring gently, until pasta is cooked (3-4 minutes). Using a ladle remove 125ml pasta water and reserve.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, heat a large deep non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add butter and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until it begins to foam (3 minutes). Add reserved pasta water. Working quickly, strain pasta and add to the pan. Season to taste and toss gently to coat. Divide tortellini among bowls, spoon over burnt butter and scatter with pecorino and freshly cracked black pepper, to serve.