A pasta dish that fits the traditional Southern bill for black-Eyed peas and leafy green collards, this black-eyed pea tortellini from Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman features ham hock brodo and plenty of flavorful collards greens.
8 ounces dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
3 slices bacon, preferably Benton’s
1 !yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1 cup (8 ounces) good-quality fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup dried bread crumbs
!Basic Pasta Dough (recipe follows)
!Semolina flour for dusting
3 cups Ham Hock Brodo, plus reserved ham hock meat
!Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups flour
Basic Pasta Dough
- Drain the black-eyed peas and place in a large saucepan, and add water to cover by 2 inches.
- Bring just to a boil over high-heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide the tortellini among warmed wide, shallow bowls, then ladle in the collards, ham hock meat, and brodo from the pan.
- Serve right away, passing additional pepper, vinegar and the Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table for diners to add to taste.
Basic Pasta Dough
- In a large liquid measuring pitcher, combine the eggs, oil, and enough lukewarm water to measure 2 1/2 cups. Whisk until well blended.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes before using.
- from Collards & Carbonara: Southern Cooking, Italian Roots, by Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman