Making Heinz Beck’s Green Tortellini with Fruitti di Mare 

So,  you have just been out foraging for clams with a 3* chef. You have fallen over on the boat (just a few scratches), and you have a wicker basket full of clams. What do you do next? Head to the kitchen, of course.

Getting a chance to cook with Heinz Beck in his kitchen at Gusto at The Conrad, Algarve was a treat. He is (obviously) talented, but he is also very thoughtful, helpful and open to food writers blundering around his kitchen. We cooked 2 dishes, Bacalhau with Herbs, Pepper sauce and Fennel and Green Tortellini con Frutti di Mare, both flavourful, light and healthy, and just what my body is screeching for at the moment. I am on a bit of a fresh pasta kick – you will have noticed – so I will share the pasta recipe with you now. It seems complex, but it is all achievable, and it is a perfect lunch for friends. Just give it time, perhaps get your friends to pitch in as you do it.

Enjoy!

Ps. – passionate pastanistas out there, there are only 2 places left for my full day pasta cooking class on Saturday 18th October. There are still places for the later dates, but they are filling up.

RECIPE: Green Tortellini con Frutti di Mare

adapted from Heinz Beck 

Ingredients

Pasta filling

300g tomatoes
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
10 black olives, finely chopped
5 basil leaves, torn
3 capers

Tortellini dough

200g of Parsley
250ml of water

160g 00 pasta flour
80g semolina (ideally semola gran duro, for pasta)
2 egg yolks
1 egg
salt

Seafood Sauce

140g tomatoes
500g clams
500g prawns
500g mussels
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 carrot, finely chopped
100ml drinkable white wine (the better your wine, the better your dish)
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method

Prepare the filling: clean the tomatoes, remove the skin & seeds (cut an x in the bottom and cover with boiling water for up to a minute, at which point the skin should be pulling back, peel and remove the seeds). Dice. Sauté in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.

Pit the green olives if necessary and finely chop. Clean the basil and capers and chop finely. Add to the tomatoes, and salt if necessary. Take off the heat after a couple of minutes.

Prepare the pasta dough: carefully wash the parsley, put it in a blender with the water and blend for a few minutes. Pass all through a muslin cloth or sieve, wring well and bring to a boil the resulting liquid. With the heat of the green part will separate and will rise to the surface: drain the water with a clean cloth and keep aside the solids, which will be used to dye the pasta dough.

Make the tortellini: mix the flour with the semolina, add two egg yolks, egg, a pinch of salt and sufficient water to obtain a solid dough. Knead the dough until it is shiny and elastic, about ten minutes. Form a ball, wrap in cling film and let it rest for half an hour to an hour.

Roll out the dough thinly, using a pasta machine at the thinnest setting, or with a rolling pin and much enthusiasm. You want it to be about 8 inches long or about the length that a pasta machine will roll, and as wide as you can fit on your board. Cut in half width wise, if necessary. Brush the edges of one of the two sheets with a beaten egg and place teaspoons of the filling every 3 inches or so, on the lower half of the sheet, with about an inch below it. Fold the sheet over and press down gently, gently squeezing out the air around each piece of filling. Press to seal, you can cut these as ravioli now, and they will still be lovely, but if you want tortellini, with a round cutter or small gl;ass, shape semi circles, and fold, pinching the two corners, and pulling them to meet each other. Ensure each is tightly sealed.

Make the Sauce: peel and deseed the tomatoes. Wash the mussels and clams and let them open in the pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the garlic, thyme, rosemary, carrots and white wine. When opened add the chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté the prawns in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and add the seafood mixture.

Cook the tortellini until al dente in plenty boiling salted water. Once they float to the top, they are done. It takes only a few minutes. Add to the seafood sauce and gently combine them. Serve garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

I travelled to Portugal as a guest of Taste Portugal, a series of luxury gourmet pop-ups in London from October to March 2015, bringing Michelin-starred chefs from Portugal to the UK for an Iberian epicurean extravaganza. Details on the Taste Portugal website. To go on, or organise your own clam digging tour, contact Cristina at 100limites. 

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Niamh

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