Crushed Pea & Mint Tortellini with Pea Shoots

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

French Countryside Cooking

French Countryside Cooking

By Daniel Galmiche

Published 2021

  • About


Not only is the pea one of Britain and France’s favourite vegetables, but it’s also my wife and my son’s too – although, botanically speaking, a pea is actually a fruit! The salad is optional but I like it with this dish.

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 300 g/10½ oz/ cups pasta flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Tortellini

  • 50 g/ oz unsalted butter
  • 300 g/10½ oz/scant 2 cups fresh podded peas or frozen, defrosted (if there are no really fresh ones around)
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • semolina flour, for dusting
  • 100 g/ oz soft goats’ cheese log, such as Ste Maure, rind removed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Pea Shoot Salad

  • 75 g/ oz pea shoots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Method

  1. Blitz the pasta ingredients in a food processor until small granules form, then tip onto a work surface and form a firm dough. Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and put in the refrigerator for 30–60 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, pour tablespoons of water into a saucepan over a medium heat, add the butter, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the peas and cook for 4–8 minutes for fresh or 2–3 minutes for frozen, or until just tender. Taste one and it should be sweet but with the merest hint of a crunch. Using a slotted spoon, lift the peas out of the water and put 200 g/7 oz/1⅓ cups in a bowl. Crush them lightly with a fork, season with salt and pepper to taste, then fold in the mint. The mixture should be really moist. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to one side.
  3. To make a pea coulis, put the remaining peas in a food processor and blitz until very smooth, then add a little of the cooking liquor and blitz until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pass through a fine sieve (strainer) into flameproof pasta bowls, cover and set aside.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface and a baking sheet with semolina flour. Roll out the pasta to 1cm/½in thick, then cut into 2 rectangles big enough to fit through your pasta machine. Roll through the machine, decreasing the thickness gauge each time until it reaches the thinnest setting possible, dusting with semolina flour to prevent it sticking. Cut out 20 x 7.5cm/3in discs of pasta. Put a teaspoon of crushed peas onto each disc, just below the centre. Brush the edges of the pasta lightly with water, then fold the top half over the filling and press the edges lightly to seal. Pick up the pasta crescent and twist the edges together, forming a lip on the outside edge, and put the tortellini on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. To make the salad, toss the pea shoots, oil and pumpkin seeds in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a high heat, add the tortellini and cook for 4–5 minutes until the pasta floats to the top of the pan. Drain the tortellini, then spoon on top of the coulis on serving plates. Crumble the cheese over the top and top with a little of the salad and a twist of black pepper to serve. Alternatively, you can grill (broil) it for a few moments until light gold.