Swiss Chard Tortelli
with Lumache and Olives
1 pound Swiss chard or beet tops, rinsed, chopped and boiled 20 minutes and cooled
2 cups ricotta
1 cup freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano, plus 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 recipe basic pasta dough, rolled to thinnest setting
Lumache alla Marchigiana (snails, Le Marche style)
5 pounds snails, purged overight with 1/2 pound cornmeal or 2 cans escargot
6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup basic tomato sauce
1 cup gaeta olives, with pits
If live, steam snails 1 hour, or until they leave their shells. Remove and rinse.
In a 12-inch to 14-inch saute pan, heat olive oil until smoking. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft and lightly brown. Add thyme leaves, snails, wine, olives and tomato and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, stir together cooked chard, ricotta, parmagiano, eggs and nutmeg until well blended and season with salt and pepper.
Lay pasta sheets out on to work surface and cut into 2-inch squares. Place 2 teaspoons chard mixture in center of each and fold into rectangles, pressing firmly on all edges to seal.
Bring 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Place tortelli carefully in water, lower heat to high simmer, and cook 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Heat ½ cup snail ragu and 5 snails per order in a sauté pan Drain tortelli carefully and place in pan snails and sauce. Toss to coat and serve immediately with grated cheese on the side.