Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Salmon, Spring Pea, and Ricotta Tortellini with Lemon – And why it’s too bad doors don’t have keyholes anymore!

The origin of tortellini is very cloudy, and several stories exist regarding how it was invented. This one is my favorite, and it totally sounds like something a chef would do! This comes to us compliments of Wikipedia:

“One legend says that this dish is born in Castelfranco Emilia (province of Modena). One night during a trip, Lucrezia Borgia checked into an inn in the small town. The host was captivated by her beauty and couldn't resist the urge to peek into her room through the keyhole. The light inside the bedroom was only made by a few candles and so he could only see her navel. This pure and innocent vision was enough to send him into an ecstasy that inspired him to create the tortellini that night.”

If you watched the Wonton clip, we are using the same fold here. So, after making these two dishes, you should really have that technique down. This is a very adaptable recipe as you can use almost any seafood in the stuffing. Even left-over cooked salmon would work. I went with a very light lemon cream sauce with just a touch of parmesan, but these tortellini are also very nice in a light broth, if you want to go low-cal. The combo of Salmon, Peas and Tarragon is a culinary classic, and works perfectly with the sauce here. Enjoy!

5 oz. salmon
1/2 cup ricotta
1/3 cup peas
1/3 cup parmesan
2 tbl fresh tarragon
square wonton skins
salt to taste
cayenne to taste
1 cup cream
1 lemon, zested and juiced
any combo of fresh, sweet herbs to finish sauce; Italian parsley, tarragon, basil, dill, etc.
*will probably make between 50-60 tortellini


Anonymous said...

Made this tonight and it was fantastic. Switched the salmon out for raw shrimp and served with a vodka sauce. Excellent, thanks for all the pointers!

Urban Epicurean said...

You rock!!! I just love these demos. What can I say, this is what I consider food porn. :)

Chef John said...

Thanks! food porn, the ultimate compliment. Hey, lets trade links. I just checked out your site. You have lots of "porn" as well.

Jackie Reynolds said...

I recently discovered this site and thanks to you, the house hasn't been cleaned since--all I do is watch all your videos. They're great!!! Thanks.
I have a question about lemon zest. Is there a problem using a microplane? I use mine all the time. It seems to work fine and is a great time saver.

Chef John said...

no, those are great. keep using it... now clean the house!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent recipe! I just tried it this past weekend, and it turned out fabulous. I plugged your site in a LiveJournal post about this dish. (In which I took a couple of 'not as beautiful as your food photos' food photos.)

Thanks so much for all your hard work! Please keep the videos coming! - Kirsten

irksome1 said...

Hey, Chef John,

I don't know if you'll see this, since the post a little old, but why is it that the cream doesn't curdle when you heat it with the acidic lemon juice and apply heat?

Chef John said...

cream doesnt curdle because its high fat, unlike milk

Anonymous said...

Just finished eating these and I have to say they were delicious. The light lemon cream sauce was the perfect combination with these salmon wontons. Thank you for the recipe!

Archie said...

Hey Chef, quick question... what kind of wild salmon is used in this dish - smoked or raw ? planning to make this in a day or two... your reply would help me .. thanks in advance !

Chef John said...

any raw salmon works!

benoit said...


Great recipe. Got me layed :) This is really easy and delicious and will impress any date.

Vintage Precious said...

This sounds FANTASTIC!!! Making this, what a nice change this will make :)

Lussuria said...

I have now made this recipe 3 times and has been a delicious hit every time! I think the rule is so long as the ingredients are fresh, you can tweak fillings and herbs around every time and it's still great!

Thankyou so much for the video on how to make the shape too!!