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Black-Eyed Pea Tortellini

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Ingredients

8 ounces dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained

3 slices bacon, preferably Benton's

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon roasted garlic

Chicken stock

1 cup (8 ounces) good-quality fresh ricotta cheese

¼ cup dried bread crumbs

Pepper Vinegar

Basic Pasta Dough (recipe follows)

Semolina flour for dusting

2 cups Southern-Style Collard Greens

3 cups Ham Hock Brodo, plus reserved ham hock meat

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Basic Pasta Dough

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 cups flour

Directions

  1. Drain the black-eyed peas and place in a large saucepan, and add water to cover by 2 inches.
  2. Bring just to a boil over high-heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered, 2-4 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until caramelized, about 5 minutes. 4. Stir in the black-eyed peas and roasted garlic and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom, then cook until the ingredients are nice and soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. In batches, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and puree until smooth. Put in a bowl; add the ricotta, bread crumbs, and pepper vinegar to taste, and mix well.
  6. Make the pasta dough as directed. Roll it through a standard pasta machine to the number 6 setting. Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, and keeping the others covered with a damp kitchen towel as you work, use a 2-inch (5 cm) round cutter to cut the sheet into rounds.
  7. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the filling into the center of each round, being careful not to add too much (Alternatively, spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch/12-mm plain tip and pipe the filling onto the rounds.)
  8. Dampen a fingertip with water and run it along the edge of half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over the filling to make a half-moon. When all of the half-moons are formed, arrange them on the work surface with the rounded edge facing away from you.
  9. Place a finger of your non-dominant hand in the center of a half-moon and use the fingers of your other hand to bring the two points together over your finger. Pinch the points together to seal the tortellini.
  10. Spread out the finished tortellini on a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pasta rounds and filling. Note: You will need only half of the pasta shapes from the recipe; freeze the remaining shapes for a future meal.
  11. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop in the tortellini and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, warm the greens and brodo with reserved meat over medium-low heat until warmed through. Drain the tortellini and add them to the pan. Toss until well coated.
  13. Divide the tortellini among warmed wide, shallow bowls, then ladle in the collards, ham hock meat, and brodo from the pan.
  14. Serve right away, passing additional pepper, vinegar and the Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table for diners to add to taste.

Basic Pasta Dough

  1. In a large liquid measuring pitcher, combine the eggs, oil, and enough lukewarm water to measure 2 1/2 cups. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour 2 cups of the egg-oil mixture into the well. Then, using a fork, slowly draw the flour into the egg-oil mixture.
  3. Continue to incorporate the flour until all of it is combined with the liquid and a shaggy dough has formed. Add more egg-oil mixture if needed to help the dough come together.
  4. Once the dough comes together, turn it out of the bowl onto a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and has a nice elasticity (it should spring back immediately when you press it with a fingertip), about 10 minutes.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes before using.
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