The Lost Weekend

Eddie and I decided we should give the tortellini making another go. Now that our pasta machine had arrived, it was sure to be a complete breeze! Making the filling was going to be quick (it was) and we had a batch of tortellini broth ready in the freezer from last time, so there was really only the dough and the filling and folding to be done. Easy. Or so we thought…

Tiny, tiny, tiny Tortellini

I had obviously not counted on Eddie’s obsession with making the world’s smallest tortellini. We started at 10am on Saturday, trying to make 1000 of them, planning on giving some away to friends for their Sunday Lunch and we just about made it on time! You may not realise it when you think of happy go lucky, “let’s have another Martini” Eddie, but the man needs to research things in the minutest details before he can start making any recipe at all. It took him a year before he made tom yum and by that time he knew 25 regional varieties and could tell you with absolute authority what could NOT go into a tom yum. He did make one of the best tom yum I’ve eaten. Twice. And then moved on to knitting. But that’s another story.

Eric is not a pastry chef, it’s just raw talent!

So while we are trying to make this vast number of tortellini, we are also chatting with our old friend Eric in Sydney who is celebrating his birthday of unmentionable years (you still look the same, darling!!) with a Zoom party of 100 of his closest friends. Champagne did not make the folding easier, I can tell you! Eric had his own challenge. He made himself an incredible, but entirely edible birthday cake! Something so elaborate than I won’t be attempting it anytime much before my hundredth.

I’m not quite sure where this post is going, but it’s been that sort of a weekend. Somewhat disjointed. I still managed to make a rather nice “Badly Made Polenta” (recipe will come to you) and a Caponata to go with a couple of Iberico pork shoulder steaks the leftovers of which got sliced up thinly and became a green curry for the evening. After this rambling weekend, I suddenly had a craving for Sablé Breton, but wanted to make them with ground almonds. Which worked out just fine. Eddie loves the saltiness of the things, but I think it’s a bit too much, so here is the reduced salt version.

It’s now 6pm on the Saturday evening and the tortellini count stand at 600. We have run out of patience and fortunately also out of dough, so the production has been halted. To our great luck, we have so many trimmings we can make a meal out of them. Some people call it bad folding, but we say it was intentional. So I tear up all the bits and pieces of our lovely homemade dough, defrost a bucket of tomato, anchovy red wine sauce (at least that’s what my label says) and there’s a great dinner for two!

Francesco illustrating the drink driving theory. That’s obviously a long time ago when we were still allowed out.

Don’t expect the recipe for the sauce, because I honestly can’t remember how I made it. The tortellini, complete with broth were on their way to our Italian friends on Sunday morning. Why on earth I would send my Teutonic attempts at Pasta to Italian friends, I really can’t say. They seem not to have minded too much and the reports we got back were entirely positive. But then both Francesco and Luciano are very polite people.

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