Back to School (aka The Nasturtium Conundrum)

It was back to school week so it seemed appropriate to head back to Flour + Water for more pasta class, this time with a friend. I had jumped in at the intermediate class and quickly decided I had to come back for the advanced class. I heartily recommend these classes to anybody in the Bay Area interested in learning how to make pasta. The staff is great, you meet some interesting people, and you get to eat! You also learn and practice how to make pasta under the supportive and expert hands of the Flour + Water cook staff (this time Matt and Ryan aided by Stephanie thank you guys!).

We made two pastas: Cappellacci Dei Briganti and Tortellini. The Tortellini was a Nasturtium dough with more nasturtium leaves in the filling. It smelled fantastic. When dinner rolled around they served it in tomato water “brodo.” What an inspired idea! I was psyched to get home and try myself.

You can imagine how crushed I was to venture into the garden and find the thriving Nasturtium plant we had was gone. Never one to give up, I decided to use some herbs instead. I pulled out the dehydrator and dried fresh parsley and tarragon which I then ground into a fairly fine powder. I put close to 2 grams each into around 350 grams of 00 flour.

For the filling I roasted some chickens as I worked on my tomato sauce. The next day I made the filling and with some help from my daughter rolled out and made a crowded half sheet pans worth of tortellini.

Hen Tortellini Filling

1 Large Shallot chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Half bunch Yellow Chard (or some greens you like)
1/2 tsp fresh toasted and ground fennel seed
1/8 tsp chili flakes
8 oz cooked hen (or chicken)
1/4 c grated parmigiano
2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 Tbsp chopped tarragon
2 eggs

Sweat the shallots in the olive oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic. Rinse and tear the chard from the ribs and roughly chop, drain and add it with the fennel and chili. Throw everything except the eggs and herbs into a food processor and grind. Season to taste with salt and pepper adding the herbs. I let it sit in the fridge for a while to come together and then added the eggs.



Filed under Cooking, Family, Food

10 responses to “Back to School (aka The Nasturtium Conundrum)

  1. Just beautiful. I love the idea of the tomato water. The whole thing is so delicate yet it’s still real food. Nice work.

  2. The tortellini are beautiful! I’m dying to get a pasta roller. I can’t wait to make some ravioli. Maybe then I’ll brave the tortellini. 🙂

  3. Makes me want to start making pasta.

  4. Tortellini al brodo sounds delicious! Bravo!

  5. I am going to ask for pasta classes for Christmas. And my birthday. And Mother’s Day.

  6. Pingback: Dinner for 6 (aka the importance of a larder) | joshuafagans

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