Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My first week of pasta making was trial and error at its finest. I thought I could just 'figure it out' but it turned out that a couple hours of studying went a long way. I know how to dry pasta, store pasta, infuse pasta, freeze pasta and make all shapes and sizes. Not bad for 1 week. Last night, I tackled a recipe I found online that was a perfect one-pot-wonder for a winter night.
Making homemade tortellini is tricky at first but once you get a rhythm down you start cranking them out. I made my filling with ricotta, Parmesan and fresh parsley mixed together with one egg yolk. That is pretty standard. There is no doubt that I will start playing with cheeses next but for now I am trying to get thee basics down. In the picture above, you can see that I made a variation of pastas. The fettucini was for my brother-in-law that can't eat cheese (poor guy) and the raviolis were made for my sister to take home with her. For this recipe we used just the tortellini.
The recipe calls for the soup to simmer for 4 hours but I let it go for an hour and a half longer. With soup and stews you can really let them go as long as you watch the broth to make sure it has not boiled off. If the broth gets low add water or a mixture of broth and water. More time means more flavor and more time for the meat to break down and tenderize. This soup really hit the spot and the kale was a perfect green to add at the end.
Brodo di manzo with tortellini and greens soup
1 beef shank (about 2 inch thick)
3 cloves garlic
3 tbl tomato paste
1 quart beef broth plus 1 quart water
1 bunch kale
8 oz dried cheese tortellini
salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
parmesan cheese to garnish
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add beef and sear for 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove beef and set aside. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Add tomato paste and mix together, 2 minute. Add broth and water. Add dried Italian seasonings and a little red pepper flakes for heat. Bring to simmer. Add beef back to Dutch oven and put lid on and simmer for 4 hours (min.)
After 4 hours, add chopped kale to pot and boil for 6 minutes. Add tortellini in soup and cook for 4 more minutes if you pasta is fresh. If not, add pasta and kale together and cook for 10-12 minutes. Serve in soup bowl and garnish with parsley and Parmesan.
Garlic Basil Bread
I served with ciabatta bread baked in a garlic basil butter. To make butter the Tyler Florence way, add 1 stick of butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, 6 cloves of garlic and a half bunch of basil to a food processor. Pulse until mixed together. Slice ciabatta and smear butter between slices and on top of loaf. Cover with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes in foil and serve warm.