Life Eat & Drink Dish of the day: Half-moon tortellini

Dish of the day: Half-moon tortellini

Hardie Grant
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Half-moon tortellini with prosciutto and chicken

This is a similar soup to the pasta di casa in brodo, but here, the filled tortellini create lovely explosions of flavour in the mouth. Tortellini are a little fussy to make, and you can substitute good-quality bought ones. However, not all food can be simple; sometimes a serious cook has to rise to a challenge.

Once mastered, the knack of preparing tortellini with a whole range of different fillings will enhance your overall ability in the kitchen and give you a real sense of pride. For Italians and other southern Europeans, quail are almost considered mythical birds; their meat is prized for its uniquely mild, gamey flavour.

To replace the chicken with quail, increase the quantity to 150 g of quail meat.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
100g chicken meat, skin removed and meat diced
50g prosciutto or good-quality ham, diced
1 egg
50g parmigiano reggiano, grated
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
200g Egg pasta
egg wash, made from 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water
1 litre  chicken stock
parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated


1. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and gently sauté the onions until they soften. Add the chicken and prosciutto and fry with the onions until they are nearly cooked through (the chicken should still be a little pink). Set aside and leave to cool.
2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste. Add the egg, cheese and parsley, and pulse until well combined. If the mixture is too wet, you can thicken it with a few spoonfuls of fresh breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry, slacken with a few spoons of cold chicken stock. Set aside.
3. To make the tortellini, roll the pasta through a pasta machine, starting at setting number 1, then setting 5 and finally the last setting (8 or 9). Make sure you set the machine up on a lightly floured work surface to prevent the pasta sticking. Cut the pasta into 6 cm discs. You can use a special pastry cutter, or improvise. Place spoonfuls of the filling onto each pasta disc and lightly brush the edges with egg wash. Fold the pasta shapes into half-moons, sealing the edges well. To create the traditional tortellini shape, fold the edges together around your index finger and stick them together.
4. Bring the stock to the boil and drop in the tortellini. Lower the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes or until the tortellini are cooked through. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Recipe courtesy of

Recipe from Modern Italian Food by Stefano de Pieri.


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