A recipe for Sorpresine (Homemade Little Surprises)! Little squares of pasta dough are folded twice to resemble tortellini without the filling!
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The recipe for these Sorpresine wasn’t actually the one I had set for this week. I originally planned on making tortellini, but was not able to obtain the meat for the filling due to the current state of the grocery stores.
I happened to be looking through the cookbook, American Sfoglino, and came across Sorpresine- a shape similar to tortellini, but without the filling! It also turned into a fun project with the kids and great practice since there was no risk of them not properly sealing the pasta and losing the ingredients inside.
To make the Sorpresine, I combined 3 cups of “00” pasta flour with 4 eggs and slowly drizzled in just enough water to form a soft dough (this recipe can easily be halved, 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 eggs, to serve 2-3 people). If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If still too crumble, add a little more water. Knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic or cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
No special equipment is required for this pasta shape, but a couple of items will make it easier. I rolled out the dough by hand (though you can use a pasta machine for ease to create a thin sheet of dough). I also recently purchased an accordion pastry cutter to cut multiple strips of pasta at a time and it has been a very helpful timesaver and keeps the squares equal.
After cutting the rolled out sheet of pasta into 1 1/4 inch wide squares, I covered most of the rows with a towel to keep them from drying out as I formed the Sorpresine. Place one square in the palm of your hand. Press together the tips of two opposite corners to make a triangle with a hollow center. Pull the two remaining corners away from the sealed edge and press together to make a shape similar to tortellini. Having difficulty visualizing how to shape the pasta? Check out this video of Salty Seattle making a beautiful version of the larger Sorprese.
I used “00” pasta flour, but all-purpose can be substituted in a pinch.
Make sure to keep the unfolded squares of pasta covered as you work to keep them from drying out. If you do find the edges starting to dry, dampen them with just a little touch of water to help the edges stick together.
Arrange the formed Sorpresine in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you don’t want to cook them right away, freeze the baking sheet and once chilled, transferred the pasta to an airtight, freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
My current favorite way to serve this is Sorpresine in Brodo. I had some ox broth in the freezer that I was planning on using for another recipe and it seemed perfect for this. The light and delicate shape of the Sorpresine paired perfectly with the rich and bold broth along with a little freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. The pasta would also be delicious in a hearty vegetable broth.
Looking for more Homemade Pasta Shapes?
Sorpresine (Little Surprises) Recipe
Adapted from American Sfoglino
Sorpresine (Homemade Little Surprises)
- 3 cups 00 pasta flour or all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Water for bringing together the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl, add the flour and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and mix until well-combined.
- Slowly add just enough water to create a soft dough. If too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more water.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Place one on a floured work surface and cover the remainder. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Roll the dough into a thin sheet using a pasta machine or rolling pin, until it is about 1/16th inch thick. Cut the sheet of pasta south to north into 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) wide strips. Cut the pasta again east to west into 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) apart to create little squares of dough. Remove any irregular pieces around the edges and set aside/cover (you can either cook these as is or reroll/cut).
- Cover most of the squares with a cloth or plastic liner to prevent them from drying out as you work. Place one square in the palm of your hand. Press together the tips of two opposite corners to make a triangle with a hollow center. Pull the two remaining corners away from the sealed edge and press together to make a shape similar to tortellini.
- Place the formed Sorpresine on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining squares and then remaining dough, keeping the shaped pasta from touching one another.
- Allow to dry for 15 minutes and cook in salted boiling water or your desired broth until tender, 2 1/2-3 minutes. Uncooked pasta can be frozen in a single layer, then transferred to a freezer-safe bag or dried fully and stored in an airtight container.