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Homemade Wild Garlic Lemon Pesto Tortellini w/ Braised Asparagus

Another dish to celebrate the wonders of spring! The most fleeting of crops, wild garlic, now sadly on its way out, is a delicious addition to any dish! Try flipping the script here by using the pasta sauce as the tortellini filling! With the easiest of pasta doughs, and served with the ever delicious asparagus, this is a winner all round!

Serves three

Takes 45 minutes (40 prep, 10 cook)

For the pasta dough:

150g gram flour

150g plain flour

2 tsp sea salt

20g olive oil

120g water

For the pesto:

1 handful of wild garlic

50g pine nuts

50g walnuts

Juice of 1 lemon

20g olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

To serve:

9 asparagus spears

Olive oil for frying/serving

Zest of 1 lemon to serve

5 leaves of wild garlic, chopped

Wild garlic flowers, if you have them

Begin by making the pasta dough. Mix together all the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. Stir with a spoon until the dough begins to come together, then start to knead by hand into a malleable ball. Set aside.

Add all the ingredients for the pesto to a blender and blend until smooth.

Split the ball of dough in two. Spread some gram flour on a large surface then roll out each half into a runner around 15cm in width, to 3mm thickness. Dust it lightly with gram flour and cut into squares of roughly 7x7cm, piling them. Repeat the same process with the other half. This should yield about +/- 30 squares.

Fill a small bowl with water and start preparing the tortellini. Place half a tablespoon of mix in the centre of the square of pasta dough and place the square diagonally with a corner nearest you. Wet the two edges of the square farthest from you and bring the corner nearest you up to meet the corner furthest from you, pinching to seal.

Seal the pesto in the middle, making sure to not leave any air bubbles, so you end up with a triangle parcel. Bring the two most acute corners together round the front of the parcel and pinch them together, as if the parcel was crossing it’s arms. Repeat the same process with the remaining pasta dough. Keep the remaining pesto to serve.

Set a large pan of water to boil.

Heat up some olive oil on a high heat in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, fry the asparagus until browned, then splash in some water to steam them. Remove them from heat while they still have some bite, garnish with salt, lemon zest and chipped wild garlic.

When the water is boiling, add the tortellini. When they float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a sieve to drain slightly. When they are all cooked, plate up with the remaining pesto, braised asparagus and wild garlic flowers, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil, serve straight away.

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