Happy new year, welcome to my first post of the year, I should have really written this post for you before the holiday season as that is a time when this dish is often enjoyed in Italy but I didn’t get a chance. I cant think of any thing better on a cold winters day than a big bowl of tortellini swimming in some flavourful broth and a big chunky jumper. I used smoked goose and plum sausages to make these, but any smoked sausages will work.
I am in love with the flavour of smoked foods at the moment, whether its meat, cheese or even salt I just love the flavours. smoked sausages are quite dry and hard so you need to add liquid to make this filling. I peeled the skins off and put the meat into a food processor with some porcini soaking liquid.
I thought I would also share some of my predictions for the food photography trends we are likely to see more of this year.
nearing the end of 2018 I noticed a big shift in the styles of photography and I want to share my thoughts with you,
1. clean, minimalist, hi-key photos = I noticed that people are moving away from the dark and moody style and are using less props, think images that are simply styled. I predict that gone are the days when people fill their scenes with ingredients and mess in favour of a simpler scene with a bowl of food. I have always been tempted to litter the scene with mess, for example if I was shooting something with herbs I would normally sprinkle some onto the back drop to tell a story of what is in the dish but I think we will find this trend coming to an end in favour or a very clean and minimalist style. you can find a great example of this style here
my opinion on how to achieve this look is to think of PURPOSEFUL props and when styling your image use what is needed to tell the story of the dish. if you want to do a abundant ingredient or prep shot then try to style it in a natural way. I think that the trend I saw in the last few years where there was a plate featuring the finished dish and then scattered around it was lots of ingredients will not in fashion this year.
2. harsh light/bright images with harsh shadows = I saw this trend quite a lot at the end of last year where the photos where taken in bright light that created a big shadow onto the back drop. I saw this a lot especially with drinks. you can find a great example here by anisa sabet
3. fabric draping cloths are headed out = for years I loved to use linens and cloths to frame my images with but I think that the long muslin cloths that you drape around the scene are going out of style now. (I haven’t used them as much as I used to but I think they will still have a place in still life chiaroscuro images).
4. even is in = we always thought that using odd numbers in photos worked best for composition but I have seen lot of people throwing out the rules and using two bowls and making it look amazing
5. modern is in = for years I have been collecting vintage props but I have noticed that a more modern look is in, maybe that goes hand in hand with my first point above.
this doesn’t mean I will change my style of photography though as I love vintage rustic props but I will definitely have a play around with lighter, cleaner images and hold back on the props.
Now on to this recipe
for the broth
either use a good quality shop bought chicken stock or make your own.
4 chicken thighs
2 celery sticks
2 onions peeled
1 head of garlic
1 piece of parmesan rind
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
4 sprigs of thyme
in a large stock pot add all of the ingredients then cover with water, approx. 2 litres and boil for an hour and a half to two hours until the liquid has reduced down to about 1 and a half litres. taste and see if there is enough flavour.
for the pasta
1 cup fine durum wheat semolina flour
1 cup tippo 00 flour
10 egg yolks
(some brands of flour absorb liquid differently so its best to start with 8 yolks and add the other two as you go if you need it)
To make pasta, add the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a hole in the centre and pour in the eggs. Then using a fork start mixing the eggs while gradually mixing in the flour, knead for about 5/10 minutes until smooth. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. while you make the filling.
6/8 smoked goose or pork sausages (try and find some great quality ones that are packed with flavour, I got some smoked goose and plum ones and they where delicious)
80g grated parmesan
5 porcini mushrooms
Pour 100ml hot water in a bowl with the mushrooms and soak for 5 minutes, peel the skin off the sausages and place the meat in a food processor, then add the parmesan, salt, pepper and mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the liquid and pulse in the food processor, the mixture should be able to be shaped into mounds for the filling.
roll out the dough with a pasta machine to as thin as you can get it and cut into small squares, brush the edges with water or a beaten egg and add a small mound of the filling in the centre and fold in half and press to seal them, then fold the corners down and pinch together.
add them to the pan of broth and boil for 4 to 5 minutes. then serve them in bowls with the broth.
if you would like a vegetarian version try this recipe here