a blog written by Brandon Mowat

Ricotta and Chive Tortellini with Browned Butter and Sage

A house favourite that is as impressive as it is comforting.

Wed Jan 13 2021

header tortellini

Why this dish?

This is one of the first recipes that I ever developed when I seriously started to get into cooking, roughly 2 years ago. I've served this to many friends, family, and even sold it as a "Make at Home" package on Lavoretto, an online fresh pasta store that I started up in the summer of 2019. For work potlucks at Ada it was a huge hit and usually one of the first trays to be emptied; although that could have been because of the small quantity as I was making each tortellini by hand.

The recipe lived in the first pages of my notebook where it was intended to make its way to the cookbook I wanted to publish in 2020 – this obviously never happened. So now, since I have the platform for it, I'm publishing it here for others to try!

This recipe is fantastic for a few reasons, chief among them is that it's just fucking good. It's cheesy, savoury, incredibly filling, and made with a lot of love. If you bake, or make any sort of dough by hand, you know the gratification of feeding someone you care about with the product of your labour. I highly "recommend" you give this recipe a try. Your guests will appreciate it and if you've never made tortellini, this is a great opportunity to venture outside your comfort zone.

Serves 4-6

Cook Time

~8-10 minutes

Prep Time

~ 1 hour



  • 00 Flour (2-3 cups)
  • Eggs (2 whole, 8 yolks)


  • Ricotta
  • Chives (1 bunch finely chopped)
  • lemon (~1 half, juiced)
  • Olive Oil (1-2 tbsp)
  • Salt + Pepper


  • Butter (1/3 stick)
  • Garlic (~3 cloves, minced)
  • Sage leaves (1-2 bunches)


Make the dough

In your flour, make a crater deep enough to comfortably cradle your eggs. Add the 2 whole eggs and 8 yolks to the crater and mix with a fork, incorporating the flour into the eggs mixture gently. When the fork stops being effective (the dough begins to form and will cling to your fork) pull the fork out and use your hands to finish bringing the dough together. If you used a bowl for the previous part, now is the time to move to a floured work surface. Continue kneading the dough, adding more 00 flour if necessary, until a smooth and supple – not sticky or dry – dough has formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Make the filling

In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, chives, lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, as well as salt and pepper to taste. You want the mixture to be tasty on its own so don't skimp on the salt and pep.

Expert move: make some extra filling, it goes VERY well on a cracker or on toast.

Wrap the torts

Roll your dough into sheets the same thickness as you would for ravioli, it should just barely start to be translucent (on my mercanto sheet roller, it's the #5 thickness). Let your sheets rest for a few minutes (5?) before trimming and wrapping. I find letting them dry out for a bit after being rolled allows them to be handled more easily while wrapping. Once they've rested, trim the edges so that the edges are clean. Cut the sheet into squares 1.5in x 1.5in and place a dollop of filling into the squares. You'll know if it's too much if you can't wrap them.

To wrap the squares with filling into tortellini shapes, start by orienting the square so it's a diamond. Bring the bottom vertex (bottom corner) to the opposite vertex (top corner). Seal the top two edges so that the filling will not escape by pressing firmly with the length of your index fingers. You should have a triangular ravioli now. If all is going well, take the bottom left and bottom right vertices and pull them together around your index finger, and seal them with your index finger and thumb. Voila!

Now do this until you're out of filling or pastaπŸ˜…


Like the sea, salt your water and bring it to a boil. In a pan, over medium heat – either stainless steel or non-stick – brown your butter. Once browned, add garlic and sage, and also toss your tortellini into your boiling water. They cook in about 2 minutes since the pasta is fresh; you'll know they're done when they start to float up from the bottom. With a slotted spoon, add your cooked pasta to your pan with the butter, sage, and garlic. Add about a half to a whole cup of pasta water to your pan so that a nice sauce forms. Add a quarter cup at a time so that it doesn't get too watery. Once your sauce is nice and creamy looking, it's ready to eat!


Plate it however you want, it'll taste phenomenal and your guests will swoon. Just top it with some flaky salt and pepper (Maldon makes a great smoked flakey salt that goes very well with this dish). If you wanna go above and beyond, top it with a couple chive tops or some colourful edible flowers.