Ricotta Mint Tortellini with Mango, Prosciutto & Pecorino

As often as possible we love to include the kids in our cooking endeavors.  After all…what child does not love to mix, pour and test?! We have found that our two have become adventurous eaters when they have a hand in the creation of what they are eating.  With aprons on and lots of paper towels waiting in the wings we set out to make tortellini.  We really wanted the kids to do as many of the steps as possible and so, after a brief lesson, we let them have a go at it.  I should say now, we did not measure anything for this recipe.  We played it by ear and used our judgement as to when things seemed ready.

I think I’ve trained them well because one of them got quite nervous when he saw his father dumping flour onto the counter…”Daddy,” he said…”Mommy is not going to be happy about that!” Once we assured him it was ok, they were both ready to build their little wells inside the flour and crack some eggs in.  We sprinkled in a pinch of salt and then had water standing by to be added as necessary.  The mixture was brought together by hand until it was combined.  At that point we wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in the fridge for a little while so that we could roll it.

We made our filling while it was chilling.  Into an individual size blender we added peas, ricotta, mint, salt and olive oil.  This was blended until creamy.  Once combined we added some grated pecorino cheese and put it in the fridge to thicken.

The pasta was rolled in the pasta maker and then the kids cut out circle shapes.  They put little dollops of the mint & ricotta mixture into the centers and then with their fingers put a trace of water around the edge before they folded them in half and then pinched the edges together.  It took a few tries! It took constant reminding on how much filling to put in (or not put in…) but in the end they were so proud of their little tortellini and went right in to watch back episodes of Master Chef Junior while they waited for dinner to be ready.

To finish this really easy summer supper we diced a mango, made some prosciutto ribbons and removed little mint leaves from their branches.  Pecorino was shaved into long strips and then it was easy assembled- tossed together with olive oil, salt and pepper before serving.  The mango added a light sweetness to the salty flavor of the prosciutto and cheese.  The flavor of the mint & ricotta was summery, creamy and so fresh.  The kids had such fun and loved every part of this process…especially eating!

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