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Homemade Tortellini with Fennel Cream

I was a little scared going into this recipe since I went ahead and read a few reviews from other people who had already completed it; none of them were terribly positive. But I am happy that I was fairly warned so that I didn’t get my hopes too high. This recipe was time consuming and at times a little challenging and I won’t be making this exact recipe again. That being said, the end result was quite good. Definitely a Saturday night recipe… we didn’t eat until 11:30pm. lol

I didn’t use a food processor nor a pasta machine since I don’t own either. I think that the entire process would have been much more enjoyable had I used both or at least the latter. I will give homemade tortellini another go, but not without purchasing a pasta machine first. MMM homemade blue cheese stuffed tortellini… I digress.

This dish is a lovely balance of sweet tasting cream and the slight licorice taste of fennel. This was my first time making homemade pasta, tortellini and working with fennel. Culinary bubble expanded, Check. Overall I am happy with the final product but mostly I think I am just happy that I made tortellini from scratch! Gold star!!!

Oh, and G helped too I think a sous chef in this recipe is a must, it would have been dreadful without him. A bottle of wine helps the process too.

Homemade Tortellini with Fennel Cream


2 cups + 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3 large eggs at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

10 ounces ground pork

1 1/4 cups finely grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 large eggs

Fennel Cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 head fresh fennel, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon fennel seed

2 cups whipping cream

salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan

For pasta dough, pulse ingredients in a food processor until blended (dough will be dry). Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest refrigerated 1 hour. **When I took mine out of the fridge it became quite apparent that it was not going to come together without some water and kneading. I think I used about 1/3-1/2 a cup**

While dough is resting, prepare filling. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Stir in fennel seed and toast in oil for 1 minute.

Add pork and cook through. Remove pork from pan toss with Parmesan, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper (Parmesan adds sufficient salt). Whisk eggs in a small bowl and stir into pork mixture.

Roll out dough through a pasta machine, following manufacturer’s instructions.

Cut rounds about 2-inches across and spoon a teaspoonful of filling into each. Fold each circle in half and wrap over finger, pinching ends together to create tortellini. Set on a baking tray to dry and chill until ready to cook.

To cook tortellini, bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add tortellini and boil until they float, about 3 minutes. Drain well and reserve while preparing sauce.

For sauce, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and fennel and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add thyme, fennel seed and white wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half. Add cream and simmer until a sauce consistency (until it coats the back of a spoon). Season to taste and add cooked tortellini to warm. Return to a simmer and serve garnished with Parmesan.

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