White Bean & Arugula Tortellini

Thank you to all the people before me; all the Nonnas in Italy, Mark Bittman, Jamie Oliver, Ruth, Marta

I was inspired to make pasta from scratch and although I’d been intimidated by the idea enough to keep me from ever buying a pasta machine, I finally made my attempt today. I had great fun! The dough was simple. The visions of a flour mountain with a mined out centre for wet ingredients was replaced by my beloved food processor. It was fast simple and quick – my kind of cooking.

Kneading dough, I find, is so therapeutic that there almost wasn’t enough of it. (But I made up for it with the unraveling of the fettuccine I chose to attempt.) Without a pasta machine, I cut the dough into small, workable balls and got to work with my rolling pin. As I rolled, I thought the dough would fight back like most others, but it just worked with me, never sticking, only stretching as thinly as I wanted it to go. It was so incredibly fun for a Presto Pasta Friday and this was, again, my first try!

Really this attempt was the least I could to for the vast amounts of pasta consumed in this house. I was forewarned that homemade is better, almost addictive, and so much better than store bought fresh and my oh my am I ever a convert now.

Once I realized that even the smallest tablespoon of my already made Sundried Tomato Pesto could transform this delicately firm pasta into a definition all it’s own— I wanted to stuff it. Crazy, since the test fettuccine was almost too tasty for a sauce, but I am a tortellini junkie so this is what came to be.

Now, I hope that you don’t feel intimidated by the length of what follows.
It’s detailed, but broken up. It really didn’t take long at all to make, honest.


1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Semolina Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoons Sundried Tomato Pesto
1/3 Cup HOT Water

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours and salt; mix to combine.
With the motor running at a medium to low speed, add the olive oil then the pesto through the feeder tube.
Drizzle 1/4 Cup of the water to begin. As the dough begins to form and appear crumbly, slowly add small amounts of the remaining water, as you may not need it all.
When the dough comes together in a full ball, turn off the food processor and remove the dough to a slightly floured board to knead.
Knead the dough until it is stretchy but not sticky. Cut it into workable pieces, 3 or 4, which ever you are most comfortable and set all but one aside in a covered bowl.


1/2 Can White Kidney Beans (260g)
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Arugula, packed
3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves
crack of freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the bowl of a food processor to purée.
With the motor running, add the olive oil, salt and garlic, followed by the arugula and basil; mix until well combined and smooth.
Scrape sides, adjust seasoning, if necessary and add fresh pepper to taste.


With a rolling pin, begin to roll the pasta dough using flour only when necessary to prevent sticking and roll the dough as thinly as possible, about 1/8″ or less.
Trim the edges and cut the dough into 2″ squares.
Drop the filling by scant teaspoonfuls into the centre of the squares.
With fresh water, use your finger to moisten two adjoining sides and fold the pasta over the filling to form a triangle.
Remove any air bubbles and seal the edges. Bring two opposite corners together and secure by dampening and a squeezing slightly.
Set finished pasta aside in a single layer (to keep them from sticking to each other) until ready to cook.
Repeat with remaining pasta and filling.


2 Tomatoes, skinned and seeded
1 Clove Garlic, Puréed
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Score the bottom of the tomatoes and drop them into the boiling water for about 1 minute.
Remove and plunge them into the cold water.
Core the tomatoes and remove the skins; slice and remove the seeds.
Mash the tomatoes with a fork and add the puréed garlic, salt and olive oil; mix well.


Bring a large pot of water to boil, drop in the finished pasta and stir. Once the pasta floats and the water has returned to a rapid boil, about four minutes, check that the pasta is al dente.
Toss with the sauce, garnish with shredded basil and serve immediately.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: http://restarteating.com http://veganvisitor.com or my portfolio at: http://www.foodandphotography.com

5 thoughts on “White Bean & Arugula Tortellini”

  1. You have really made me want to try and make my own pasta at home. I literally do not know anyone who does this anymore. We too are bigtime pasta consumers.

  2. Omigosh. This sounds so good and so easy. I can’t wait to try it!. Once I became a vegetarian, I thought my tortellini days were over! Thanks you!

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