Tortelli di ortica

Using foraged nettles is not only frugal, it makes the most wonderful pea-green dough. And Leondina is an expert at using this dough to make tortelli, triangular stuffed pasta shapes, filled with a ricotta, nettle and parmesan filling.

Leondina uses a mixture of ricottas. Sheeps’ milk ricotta has a more interesting flavour than cows’ milk ricotta; but it’s watery where as cows milk ricotta isn’t so much – and it’s cheaper – thus a lot of cooks like her use both.

Tortelli di ortica don’t need complicated sauces to distract from the pasta itself. So this is served with a dressing of butter and sage and a final dusting of parmigiano reggiano cheese – called La Forma locally; we’re south of Faenza for this episode.