Like a remake of a classic movie or TV show, chefs love to put their own twists on popular dishes. That impulse can translate into babka, which is more like pizza than kugelach, duck breast sprinkled with pastrami spices instead of beef, and butter mochi that might remind you of a birthday cake.
It also means that something as steadfast as tortellini en brodo – a traditional soup cherished across Italy – can get a fresh update in the hands of a curious chef. Classic tortellini en brodo, which means “in broth”, were a consolation for New York chef Tyler Heckman when the outside temperatures were somewhere between freezing and cold for May. Together with his kitchen team at Greenwich Village Restaurant Villanelle, Heckman used the Tortellini en Brodo framework to create something unique while keeping it simple and accessible.
His recipe uses dashi instead of a classic brodo. Often used in Janese cuisine, dashi refers to a series of broths made from ingredients soaked in cold or warm water. These ingredients can be kombu, bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms, and dried sardines. Heckman says he uses dashi a lot in his Villanelle kitchen; For this particular recipe, he used dried shiitakes for the broth along with some parmesan peel. As for the pasta, you, he and his team decided to go for Catelli, which is a little different from tortellini. You can try the recipe below for yourself.
Tortellini in broth
Added by Chef Tyler Heckman – Villanelle
For the pasta dough:
145 grams of 00 flour
pinch of salt
75 grams of egg yolks (about 4 large egg yolks)
25 grams of water
For the parmesan bowl dashi:
1000 grams of cold water
20 grams of dried shiitake mushrooms
30 grams of kombu
30 grams of shaved katsuobushi
125 grams parmesan bowl
Salt to taste
Soy sauce to taste
For the tortellini filling:
25 grams of rehydrated shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 whole egg
Drain 1 pound of ricotta cheese in a cheesecloth-lined colander in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Maitake, white button, or a mushroom of your choice
First make the pasta dough:
Step 1: Start by mixing the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on level 2. Add the egg yolks and water. Gradually increase the speed to 4. Once everything is incorporated, switch to a dough hook and continue kneading at speed 4 until the dough is smooth and bouncy. Since this is a very stiff dough, this can take up to 5 minutes.
Step 2: Transfer the batter to a clean countertop, being careful to remove any pieces that may have been left in the bowl. Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. Roll the dough into a ball and wring it with plastic, then let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. The dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 2 days before shedding.
Next, make the parmesan bowl dashi:
Step 1: Combine the cold water, the dried shiitake mushrooms and the kombu in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Bring to a boil, making sure the mushrooms and kombu are submerged and hydrated. Turn off the heating and add the shaved katsuobushi and parmesan pods to the pot. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the broth steep for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Strain the soaked broth through a chinois or a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a shallow container. Save the hydrated shiitake mushrooms for the filling in the next step. Season the broth with salt and soy sauce.
Make the tortellini filling:
Step 1: Put 25 grams of the reserved shiitake mushrooms in a blender and combine them with garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Start at a slow speed and gradually climb too high for the mushrooms to be finely mashed. On medium speed, add the egg and half of the ricotta cheese. Once the ingredients are well incorporated, add the rest of the ricotta and blend at high speed until smooth. Be careful not to overwork the filling or it will become runny. Put the filling in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Step 1: Roll out the pasta dough into sheets and divide into quarters. (If you’re rolling the dough by hand, roll it until it’s thin and translucent.) Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with plastic or a damp towel. Run the dough through a rolling pin at increasingly thinning settings until you have a sheet of per-thin pasta. (Setting # 6 if you are using a KitchenAid).
Step 2: Using a 21/2 – 2 ¾ inch circular cutter, cut the sheet into rounds, placing the rounds as close together as possible. Gather the scrs into a ball and reserve them with the remaining pieces of dough to roll again later.
Step 3: Fill a small bowl with water and set it aside. Put about half a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each round, being careful not to overfill. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it along the edge of the lap to moisten it. Fold the dough into a crescent and press it around the edges to seal the filling and remove any air pockets. Then join the two corners to form a rounded hood. Mix lightly with flour and place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and roll the scrs again. Allowing the tortellini to ventilate for about 20 to 30 minutes will allow them to harden a little before cooking.
Cook and assemble the dish:
Step 1: Heat the parmesan dashi stock in a saucepan until hot. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil on a separate burner to create the noodles. Add the tortellini in batches so they don’t stick together and cook for about 1 minute – you want them to be al dente but warm only in the middle. Strain the tortellini and place in a warm bowl. Cover with the dashi broth and garnish with the raw or cooked mushrooms of your choice. Finally, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.
Recipe tested by Overcome Louiie