An all-day slow cooking adventure in local, seasonal dining, Pasta method from Evan Funke’s amazing book American SfoglinoJump to Recipe


A very traditional dish with a Pacific Northwest accent


The Queen of Swords gave me fresh chanterelles and raw apple cider, and I had just roasted and pureed this Winter Luxury pumpkin. It was the weekend, the house was clean, and so I decided to spend the day making fresh tortelloni. I have been making fresh pasta practically since I was a kid. One of my earliest memories is watching, fascinated, while my dad cranked pasta through his Atlas machine. I made pasta with my kids when they were growing up on the same machine, which had lost its clamp by this time. We made do with a C-clamp from the garage that caused the machine to slide around in unpredictable ways while we performed a combination crank and stabilize maneuver that was quite the workout.


In 2020 I splurged on a Kitchenaid attachment, that worked beautifully for a few batches, and then failed in 2021, right at the time I was ready to make the traditional family christmas eve manicotti. We pulled out the hand crank machine which had now developed an ear-splitting squeal. We did finally get our manicotti at about a quarter to Santa Claus that night.


For my birthday this year, my daughter gave me this beautiful book, American Sfoglino by Evan Funke. In my mind, using a pasta rolling machine was the easy, labor-saving way to make fresh pasta, and so I was a little bit skeptical about doing it with a rolling pin, but she swore to me that the machine was unnecessary. She had learned to make pasta by hand for restaurant service, and I could do it at home.


She was right. It isn’t a fast process, not when the dough needs to rest for a few hours between mixing and rolling, but it is much easier on my body than turning the hand crank (and fighting the clamp!) and much less expensive than buying special equipment, especially when it breaks.


If you look through these pictures and want to try making your own pasta by hand, I strongly urge you to buy this book. I’m not going to give you an in-depth pasta lesson here. What I will do is show you my recipe for the filling, how I adapted the dough to use our local Camas Mill stone ground flours, and of course the chanterelle cream sauce.


Tortelloni with Pumpkin Hazelnut Brown Butter and Sage

We’re going to start with the pumpkin filling, and then I will briefly show you how I put the tortelloni together. Finally, I’ll show you how to make the chanterelle cream sauce, which you can use with any sort of pasta if you find yourself with more mushrooms than time.


Ingredients: Filling

Ingredients for pumpkin tortelloni displayed on a wooden cutting board: Pumpkin puree, half a stick of butter, about 1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts, and 5 fresh sage leaves


    • 1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts


    • 5 fresh sage leaves


    • 4 Tablespoons of butter


    • white pepper


Tools: Filling

    • Sauté pan


    • knife and cutting board


    • Pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip (optional but helpful)


Directions: Filling

We’re going to brown the butter with the sage leaves, then add chopped hazelnuts, and then the pumpkin puree. When it is cooked, we’ll put it into a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip and set it in the fridge to cool.


Prep and Cook

    1. Chop the hazelnuts very fine.


    1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan with the sage leaves until the butter begins to brown and smell nutty and toasted. Don’t let it burn!


    1. Add the hazelnuts to the butter, and stir until they are heated through.


    1. Add the pumpkin puree, cooking and stirring until it thickens and loses any excess moisture.


    1. Taste and season with salt and white pepper.


    1. You may want to balance the flavor with a bit of lemon juice or even a little sugar, but don’t overdo it.


    1. Allow the mixture to cool until you can handle it, and then pack it into a pastry bag if you have one. You don’t have to, but it is very helpful.




Ingredients: Tortelloni

Ingredients for White Bean and Cucuzza Soup laid out on a cutting board: Approximately 1/2 of a cucuzza, cut into two pieces to fit on the board, a jar of whole tomatoes, a jar of tomato sauce, 4 small potatoes, a head of garlic, some broken pieces of pasta, fresh parsley and oregano, a bit of parmesan cheese rind, some cut up dry red pepper.

This recipe is specific to my Camas Mill flour


    • 3/4 cups of Durum flour


    • 5 eggs


Tools: Tortelloni

    • A table or counter you can spread out on


    • whisk and bowl


    • bench knife


    • rolling pin


    • fork


Directions: Tortelloni


This is a very brief overview of the process. I am following the fantastic instructions in American Sfoglino, which are much more detailed and instructive than I am going to give you.


Mix the Pasta:






    1. Sift your flour onto a clean table or counter surface in a round pile. I’m using my kitchen table.


    1. Form a well in the center of your flour. If you’ve used a mesh strainer, you can use the bottom of it to form the well, but make sure there’s a bit of flour still in the center.


    1. Beat the eggs and pour them into the well.


    1. Use a fork to begin mixing flour into the eggs. When it stops being possible to mix with the fork, begin scooping and scraping with the bench knife. Pretty soon it will be a shaggy mess.


    1. Knead the dough until it stops being shaggy and turns into a cohesive unit. If it is too dry, wet your hands and knead some more until it comes together.


    1. When it looks and feels like a stiff lump of dough, Wrap it in plastic and let it rest on the table for about 15 minutes.


    1. After it has rested, unwrap it and knead it some more until it becomes shiny and fleshy, like a nice thick thigh. Divide it into two round balls, wrap them tightly, and let them rest. They can stay at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or you can refrigerate them if you want to do the next part in a day or two. Don’t freeze it.


Roll and form the pasta:







    1. Unwrap one of the pasta balls and begin to roll it into a flat circle on a floured surface.


    1. Roll the dough away from you in three movements, as though you were pointing to the numbers 1, 12, and 11 on a clock face. Then rotate the dough a quarter turn, and repeat.


    1. In American Sfoglino, Funke says to roll until it is the thickness of 9 post-it notes. I asked my chef spouse why post-it notes and not, say, the pages of the book itself, and he said it is because you can peel off some post-its and put them on the work surface for reference. Then he produced the world’s tiniest post-its from somewhere and counted off 9 for me.


    1. Next, cut the dough into perfect 2 1/2 inch squares. There are special tools for this, which I do not have. I measured with my bench knife, which does have inches on it. It took some time.


    1. Pipe a bit of filling onto the center of each square. Not too much! Just about a rounded teaspoon. Yes, I know which emoji they look like.


    1. To shape the pasta, first fold the square in half to make a triangle. Carefully squeeze the edges together to remove the air without squishing pumpkin filling out. You can use a little water if it has dried out. Use a knife to clean up the edges, cutting them straight and even.


    1. Then, wrap the two folded points around the tip of your pinkie finger and squeeze them together.


    1. Repeat for the next hundred years until you have made all of the tortelloni.


    1. There will be a pile of pasta scraps from the irregular edges of the squares and from trimming the triangles. You can lay them out on a sheet tray to air dry and then save them for other purposes. I put mine in some soup.


INgredients: Chanterelle Cream Sauce

A wooden cutting board with ingredients for chanterelle cream sauce: butter, cream in a pitcher, a pile of chanterelle mushrooms, two shallots, a block of parmesan cheese, a nutmeg, a clear pepper grinder with white pepper corns in it, and a green glass with liquid inside (it is vermouth bianco and fresh raw apple cider)

    • Fresh chanterelle mushrooms, I think this is about a pound.


    • 1 pint of cream


    • 1 stick of unsalted butter


    • olive oil


    • shallots- mine are small, I’m using two.


    • 1/4 cup of white wine or dry hard cider. I’m using Vermouth Bianco mixed with a raw apple cider that is particularly clear, bright and tangy without much sweetness.


    • Parmesan cheese


    • white pepper


    • nutmeg


    • salt


    • a few more fresh sage leaves for garnish


Tools: Chanterelle Cream Sauce

    • Knife and cutting board


    • Saute pan and stirring utensil- my favorite is either a somewhat stiff silicone scraper or this wooden spatula thing that is flat on the end.


    • Pot for boiling pasta water


    • Pasta bowl or baking dish


    • tongs


Directions: Chanterelle cream sauce

We’re going to get everything ready to finish and serve the dish. The pasta water will be coming to a boil while the chanterelles are cooking, and the cream sauce will be finished just in time to toss with the cooked pasta. It’s a bit of a dance, so make sure you have all of your mise ready before you start.



    1. Fill your pasta water pot, leaving some head space, and salt the water until it tastes like the sea. Start it heating up, and put your pasta bowl on top to cover it so it warms up.


    1. Finely chop your shallots and reserve in a little dish. You should have about 2 tablespoons. Put one of the fresh sage leaves into the dish.


    1. Cut the sage leaves into decorative little strips and hold them aside for a garnish.


    1. Grate some parmesan cheese ahead of time, about 1/4-1/2 cup. Please don’t use the plasticy pre-shredded stuff, it isn’t good. Get a block and grate it. You can do it all at once in a food processor, chopping it into a fine crumble, or you can grate some with the small teeth of a box grater.


    1. Clean the chanterelles and cut them into uniform pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Think about retaining their shape as much as you can, and about how they will look in the bowl with the pasta pieces.


    1. At arm’s reach near the stove, place: olive oil, your butter on a plate with a knife so you can cut off chunks, your cream, the wine, your little dish of shallots and a sage leaf, and the parmesan cheese.


    1. Make sure you have the tools you need all ready to go: Pasta bowl warming on the water, tongs to grab the mushrooms out of the pan, something to stir with,



First we are going to cook the chanterelles in batches, then we will season them and remove them to the pasta bowl. We’ll cook the pasta and make the cream sauce, and then toss it all together.



    1. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter with about the same amount of olive oil in the sauté pan over medium high heat. When the foam has subsided, add a few of the chanterelles. It is IMPORTANT that you only cook a few at a time, because we don’t want them to release a bunch of water and get soggy. nIf you cook a few at a time the water they release will steam off before it collects in the pan, and the mushrooms will brown.


    1. Remove each batch of chanterelles to the pasta bowl, and repeat step 1 as many times as you need, adding butter and oil if necessary. If the water is boiling or close to it, you can remove the bowl. It will stay warm enough.


    1. You are going to need to control the heat on your sauté pan which can be challenging, so I am giving you permission to pull it off the heat, let it cool a bit, and if it gets away from you and starts to burn, you can wash it in between batches. Try to keep some of the mushroomy bits from the last batch if possible.


    1. Once you have cooked all your mushrooms, turn the heat down a bit and put another tablespoon of butter into the pan. Add the shallot and the sage leaf, and cook gently until the shallot becomes translucent.


    1. Increase the temperature back up and add the mushrooms back to the pan. When they have all come back to heat, at just the right moment to be exciting, add the wine.


    1. When the liquid has cooked off, remove the mushrooms to the pasta bowl again. Keep the pan off the heat so it doesn’t burn all that flavor away.




    1. Before finishing the sauce, this is a good time to take a breath and make sure everything you need is to hand: butter, cream, nutmeg, white pepper, pasta, mushrooms, parmesan.


    1. Start the pasta cooking. If you’ve made tortelloni like I did, it will take a little longer than you think. You’ll need to keep stirring the cream so it doesn’t boil over or scorch at the same time that you are keeping an eye on the pasta so it doesn’t overcook.


    1. Pour the cream into the pan on medium heat, and add the rest of the butter, about half a stick. Stir to loosen anything that is stuck to the pan from the mushroom step, and keep stirring frequently.


    1. The cream will boil and foam up, make sure it doesn’t escape the pan. Eventually it will settle back down again, keep stirring to scrape the bottom.


    1. When it has thickened and reduced, turn down the heat to low and grate in some nutmeg and white pepper. Add a little salt, but remember that parmesan is salty too.


    1. When the pasta is finished and steamed some of its water off but is still hot, toss it in the bowl with the mushrooms, add the parmesan to the cream sauce, and use the a silicone scraper to scrape all of the cream sauce into the pasta bowl.


    1. Toss the mushrooms, pasta, and cream sauce together gently and quickly. Adjust seasonings, you don’t have a lot of time, but it may want a bit more of this or that.


Plate and Serve:

Top each portion with a bit of fresh sage, and serve immediately. It does not keep.


Recipe Notes

I hope I’ve convinced you to pick up a copy of American Sfoglino. It really is a fantastic cookbook. It is almost intimidatingly beautiful, but the instructions are thorough and as you can see, they can be followed at home with success. This dish took a long time, but each step was simple and not particularly stressful.


Did you try it?

Let us know what you think! We’d love to see pictures and hear about your results. I’m always available for troubleshooting.


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