This is delicious a pasta of real substance. The pork belly and sage butter make a great partnership, creating wonderfully rich, Italian flavours. Note that Antico's recipe is for tortelloni, not the more common tortellini - the difference being that tortelloni is far larger, with a dramatic pasta dough hood framing the meat parcel.
The recipe might seem lengthy, but if approached in a methodical fashion then it’s very achievable. Try and make the dough the day before it's needed, and leave three hours to make the pork filling before you intend to make the tortelloni parcels. The beauty of the dish is that it can be made hours before a dinner, and then stored in an air-tight container, then quickly cooked before the meal.
Before starting, have a quick read through head chef Nicholas Schizas’ pasta making tips.
For the pasta dough
For the filling
- 15ml oil
- 500g pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme
- salt pepper
- 100ml white wine
- 60g butter
- 20g fresh sage leaves
To Make In advance - Pasta dough
- Put the 00 flour, semolina, egg yolks and egg whites into a mixing bowl, and pulse in a food processor and use your hands to bring it together. Knead gently for just a couple of minutes.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight – or for at least three hours while you make the tortelloni meat filling.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan or skillet that is safe to use in the oven. Sear the pieces of pork until the outside is golden brown. Remove the meat from the pan, and reduce the heat.
- Add the onion, celery and carrots to the pan, and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the thyme. Season with the salt and pepper, and then pour the wine over the softened vegetables.
- Return the pork to the pan and try to tuck it under the vegetables.
- Lay a circle of baking parchment on top of the pan, and cover with two sheets of tin foil, scrimped down tightly at the sides. Put it in the oven for 3 hours at 220C until the pork is falling apart.
- Ladle the cooked meat and vegetables into a food processor, and slowly add the pan juices, until blended to a loose pate-consistency.
- Once the meat has cooled, spoon it into a disposable piping bag. Don’t snip off the end, but put a firm twist in the top, and store it in the fridge until needed.
Making the pasta
- Take the pasta dough out of the fridge, and bring it to room temperature.
- Dust the worktop with semolina, unless it’s a particularly wet dough, in which case use 00 flour instead.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a rectangle-shape, roughly 1cm thick so it will fit through the pasta machine.
- Set the Imperia pasta machine to the widest setting, and turn the handle to feed the dough through it. Move down a setting notch by notch, rolling the dough thinner each time, until it has been passed through at the thinnest setting.
- Fold the long sheet of pasta into thirds lengthways, as you would fold a bed sheet. Rotate it so that you are feeding the side with open furls back into the Imperia machine set at the widest setting again, and repeat the process, rolling it thinner notch by notch.
- After folding the pasta back into thirds and repeating the process three times over, use a pastry cutter to divide the finished sheet of pasta into squares. Pass the individual squares through the machine on a 1.5mm setting – they should measure about 4x4cm.
- Snip the end off the piping bag containing the meat filling. Squeeze about one teaspoon of the pork belly onto each pasta square.
- Use a spritzer to spray a mist of water over the pasta squares to lightly dampen the dough. This will help seal the edges. Fold each square in half into a triangular-shaped parcel.
- Pinch both bottom corners between your thumb and finger, and pull them downwards until they meet at the middle. Pinch the two corners together to form a diamond-shape.
Cooking the pasta
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, and then cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan until it’s melted – though not brown.
- Add the sage leaves, and then add 1 ladle of water from the pasta to emulsify the sauce.
- Drain the pasta, and add it to the pan of sage and butter. Serve.