Tortellini with Bone Marrow Broth

Ingredients

Broth

2 pounds meaty bone marrow or beef bones, cut into pieces (see Notes)
1 yellow or white onion, halved and charred (see Notes)
2- to 3-inch knob fresh ginger, sliced into 5 or 6 quarter-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley stems (use the leaves for the tortellini filling)
Pinch of kosher salt
2-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

Pasta

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons bone marrow, melted, or olive oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
leaves from 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
onion flowers, for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. To make the broth, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread the marrow bones on a baking sheet and roast until the bones brown and the marrow softens, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the marrow bones from the oven and scoop out 2 tablespoons marrow if using it for the pasta dough.
  4. Transfer the roasted marrow bones to a stockpot and add the onion, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Pour 1 gallon water over these ingredients and then add the parsley stems and salt. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, but do not boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
  6. Strain the stock through a colander and return the broth to the pot. Discard the solids.
  7. Add the fish sauce to the broth and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Let the broth simmer briskly until reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.
  8. To make the pasta, pour the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, 2 tablespoons water, the marrow fat, if using, and salt. Pour the mixture into the flour well. Using two fingers, slowly incorporate the flour into the wet mixture until all of the liquid is absorbed and a supple dough is formed.
  10. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
  11. Alternatively, put the flour in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the motor running, pour the wet ingredients through the food tube. The dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  12. To make the filling, in a mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley leaves, one of the eggs, the lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  13. Take the pasta dough from the refrigerator and roll it into sheets using a pasta machine.
  14. Alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes and then roll into sheets with a rolling pin until they are about 1/8 inch thick (a little thicker won’t matter).
  15. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining egg and 1 teaspoon water.
  16. Cut the pasta into 4-inch rounds with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. You will have about 25 rounds.
  17. Lay them on a floured work surface and scoop a small amount of filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and fold in half to seal. Put a finger in the center of the seal and fold the dough back around your finger. Fold the edges down to form a tortellini shape.
  18. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Drop the tortellini into the water and cook until they bob to the surface, 3 to 4 minutes.
  19. Put 4 to 6 tortellini in each shallow serving bowl and pour the hot broth over them. Serve right away. Garnish with onion flowers, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Notes:

  • Bone marrow is found inside the long bones of animals. It’s soft, yellowish, and mostly fat and is appreciated by meat eaters the world over for the richness and full flavor it brings to any number of dishes. Beef marrow is the most common in the United States. Ask the butcher to cut the bone marrow bones into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
  • To char the onion halves, put them cut side up in a small roasting pan and slide them under a preheated broiler. Let them cook until they darken and char around the edges, about 5 minutes. You could also char them by holding them with long-handled tongs over an open gas flame.

Source: So Good

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Vegetarian Borscht

Ingredients

2 large onions
3 large beets
3 large carrots
2 parsnips
4 stalks celery
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 large tomatoes
1/2 small white cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of chopped parsley
all-purpose white flour
low-fat sour cream or yogurt

Method

  1. Cut onions, beet, carrots, parsnips, and celery into matchsticks.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the tomato paste and the vegetables and simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
  3. Skin the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and chop. Add to the pan with the cabbage, honey, lemon juice, and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes, then throw in a handful of chopped parsley. Check seasoning.
  4. If necessary, thicken the soup with a blend of a little flour and low-fat sour cream.
  5. The soup is best made the day before it is to be eaten. Reheat and serve with a bowl of low-fat sour cream or yogurt.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Healthy Vegetarian Cooking

Chinese-style Eight-treasure Soup

Ingredients

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
2 oz Chinese bacon or ham, cut into thin strips
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
8 oz chicken breast fillet
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 small raw prawns, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-3/4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
3-1/2 oz spinach, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the woody stalks and cut the caps into quarters.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oils and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then add the ginger, spring onion and bacon. Cook for about 10 seconds before adding the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
  5. Return the stock to the boil, add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, tofu, bamboo shoots, spinach and chicken meat to the wok and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with the extra spring onion.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Chinese bacon has a dryish flesh with a strong flavour very much like prosciutto. You can substitute prosciutto.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

Green Asparagus Soup with Salmon Trout

Ingredients

2-1/4 lb green asparagus
salt
1 pinch sugar
2 sprigs tarragon
1 onion
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1 large potato
4 tablespoons cream
freshly ground white pepper
5-1/2 oz smoked salmon trout

Method

  1. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and remove the woody ends.
  2. Cook the woody ends in 4-1/2 cups salted water, flavoured with a pinch of sugar and 1 sprig of tarragon for 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the onion, chop finely and braise lightly in clarified butter until golden yellow.
  4. Dice the peeled potatoes, add to the saucepan and season with a little salt. Add some water, cover and cook.
  5. Strain the asparagus stock (broth) through a sieve into a second saucepan.
  6. Cut the asparagus into pieces 1-1/4-inch long, add the strained stock (broth) and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the stock (broth) and drain.
  7. Remove the asparagus tips from the rest of the asparagus.
  8. Add half the remaining asparagus pieces to the saucepan with the onion and potatoes. Stir in 3/4 of the asparagus stock (broth). Add the cream and stir.
  9. Add the rest of the asparagus and the remaining tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Cut the salmon trout into small pieces and add to the soup. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus

Vegetarian Borscht

Ingredients

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
4 medium red beets, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 medium red-skinned unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 cups salt-free vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup baby red Russian kale, optional
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish

Method

  1. Heat oil in a 6-Litre large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Heat until onion has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add beets, potatoes, and carrots to pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and garlic. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, honey, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon to pan. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Place broth and bay leaf in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in chickpeas and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Fold in baby kale, if using.
  8. In bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, horseradish, and a pinch of salt.
  9. Place soup in serving bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Alive magazine