Saturday, July 07, 2007

This and That

A request for Tortellini fillings. Here are some traditional recipes:

Curd Cheese and Spinach filling: serves 6 (using 1lb/500g pasta dough)
8 oz (250g) spinach, parboiled, drained and chopped
8 oz (250g) ricotta or curd cheese,
4 oz (100g) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
pinch ground allspice or nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together and put small teaspoons of the mix into the centre of the pasta circles. Fold into required shapes, seal well and leave to stand for 5 minutes before cooking in boiling salted water.
Note: This mixture can also be used to fill ravioli squares.

Pea and Bean filling: using 12 oz/350g dough - serves 4
8 oz (250g each, peas and green beans, shelled
3 pints (1.75 litres) meat stock
6 spring onions (scallions) chopped
1 oz (25g) butter
2 egg yolks
good pinch each of ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1 tblsp sugar
1 oz (25g) grated Parmesan
2 oz (50g) ricotta or curd cheese
Boil the peas and beans in the stock for 15 minutes until tender. Drain, but reserve the stock. Grind the peas and beans in a mortar (or blitz in a blender/processor). Rub through a sieve. Fry the onions lightly in the butter then stir in the peas and beans. Add the rest of the ingredients - seasoning to taste, adding the cheeses at the end. Mix well and use to stuff the tortellini.
Note: The green beans could possibly be the ones we think of a 'flageolet', these can be bought in tins.

Meat filling: for ravioli or tortellini - serves 4
5 oz (150g) cooked chicken, beef or veal
4 oz (100g) raw bacon, diced
1 oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf and 1 sprig of thyme
6 fl oz (20 cl) stock, water or white wine
8 oz (250g) spinach, blanched, drained and finely chopped
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the bacon in a pan, add the cooked meat,onion and herbs, add the stock, and simmer until the liquid has reduced right down. Remove the herbs, and pound the meat (or process) with the spinach. Add the egg yolks. If necessary, press through a sieve - the mixture should be firm but supple. If too dry add a very little more stock. Season to taste. A good filling for any pasta shapes.