Thursday, July 11

Pig Cheek Tortellini, Sweet Corn Puree, Crispy Sage

Sweetcorn is not quite in season yet but it won't be long, so here is a cracking little recipe to get you ready. I am not a big fan of sweetcorn kernals but love it in purees and soups etc. The dark gelatenous pork goes exceptionally well with the puree, add butter, sage and parmesan and you are onto a winner. The purple flowers are from my sage bush which is going mad at the moment - they are edible but taste of little so please view them as superfluous cheffy garnish....they do look pretty though! For two:

Pig Cheeks - 500g
Chicken Stock - 250ml
Masala - 100ml
Sweetcorn - 2 fresh cobs
Milk - to just cover the sweetcorn
Sage - 20 leaves and optionally a few flowers
Butter - 75g

For the pasta:
"00' pasta flour - 200g
2 whole large eggs

In a slow cooker or in a covered pan on a very low heat, season & braise the pigs cheeks with the chicken stock and masala until very tender. Drain reserving the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat removing any sinew and fatty bits. Strain and reduce the stock on the stove until syrupy and mix this syrup back through the shredded meat to intensify the flavour. Chill.

I've covered the making of pasta and tortellini here - so follow this method using the the quantities above and the pork cheek stuffing. This recipe should yield 10 to 12 large tortellini depending on how big you make them.

To make the sweetcorn puree, take the corn kernels off the cob using a short sharp knife. Gently simmer in milk with a little seasoning for five minutes. Drain reserving the milk and blitz the sweetcorn in a blender until smooth. You may have to add a little of the reserved cooking milk to make the blades turn. Push the puree through a sieve discarding the fibrous mass left.  Keep the puree warm. 

Cook your tortellini for 3 mins in rapidly boiling salted water. Fry the sage leaves over a medium heat until they are crispy taking care not to burn the butter. Smooth a generous spoonful of the sweetcorn puree over the bottom of warmed pasta plates. Drain the pasta and place these artfully on the plate. Anoint generously with the sage infused butter and add the crispy sage leaves and flowers if using. Grate over fresh parmesan and serve.

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