We have a NEW pasta recipe! Once you’ve tried this recipe you will never use another…it’s soooo simple and tastes great. Given to Chris by Italian friend Luisa, this easy pasta is great filled with warming Autumnal vegetables and served with wild herb butter. The recipe is below and some course photos from the excellent wild food weekend held in our wood 4th – 6th October.
Pumpkin and Hogweed spiced Tortellini with Ground Ivy butter sauce – serves 5
- 5 eggs
- 500g pasta flour
- 600g peeled pumpkin cut in to small dice
- 200g shallots peeled and chopped small
- 150g butter diced
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp Hogweed seeds roasted and ground (identification notes below)
- 25 Ground Ivy leaves approx (identification notes below or you could use a few sage leaves)
- 1 lemon
Put the flour in to a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and bring the mix together with a spoon. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth then wrap it in cling film and leave in a cool place for ½ an hour. While the pasta is resting fry the shallots and pumpkin in the oil and a knob of butter butter for 5-10 minutes until soft adding the ground Hogweed seeds after about 2 minutes . Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, mashing a little until it has a soft consistency. Set aside to cool.
Roll out the pasta in to strips approximately 10cm wide and 1.0mm thick. We use a pasta machine and roll in the pasta on the finest setting but if you don’t have one use a rolling pin. Use plenty of flour to prevent sticking. Now cut the pasta in to 8cm squares and put a heaped teaspoonful of filling into the centre of each. Dampen a strip 1cm wide down the right hand edge and the bottom edge of the pasta square. Now take the opposite corner of the square and fold it over pressing the edges of the pasta together to seal, thus forming a triangle. To create the tortellini shape, bring the two furthest corners of the triangle to meet the middle corner and press together to seal.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the tortellini for 5 minutes. While it is cooking chop the ground Ivy finely. Heat a heavy bottomed pan on a high heat until very hot, add the rest of the diced butter and watch carefully until it turns a nut brown colour, now quickly add the juice of a lemon to cool the butter and stop it burning, Remove from the heat add the chopped ground ivy and leave to infuse for a minute or two. When the tortellini is cooked drain it well and pour over the herb butter and season with freshly ground pepper.
As the name suggests Ground Ivy creeps along the ground often in the shade of hedges or under trees on sloping banks. It is a perennial and can be found all year round. The leaves are approximately 2 – 3cm across, they are hoof shaped with a scalloped edge. Ground Ivy has a square stem – it is a member of the mint family. It has purple flowers in April when the stems grow more upright. The strong aromatic smell is the most distinctive part of this plant. The smell is similar to sage but with a little rosemary mixed in. If it does not smell like this you have the wrong plant!
This perennial plant flowers from June to August, growing to 2m tall. It has hairy stems and leaves. The stems are hollow and grooved and usually have greyish purple tints. The leaves are very large at the base of the plant becoming smaller up the flowering stem. Each leaf is made up of usually 5 leaflets these have a coarsely toothed wavy edge making the leaflet look irregular. The flower buds appear in June encased in a papery wrapper and open in to an umbrella of grey white flowers approx 20cm across from June onwards. The seeds follow first as green discs which then dry out to form brown seeds as in the photo. Look carefully at the leaf shape to confirm your identification and check that the seed has a cardamom/caraway like scent.
Be sure of your identification. Hogweed is part of the umbelliferae family whose members can be tricky to identify, it does contain poisonous species so be careful. We recommend that you check your identification in a few different plant books or ideally come on a foraging course.
Some photographs from our Wild food weekend 4th-6th October.
Thanks and credit goes out to Freddie Milles for some great photos.