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Rice and Pasta

Tomato Tortellini with Aubergines and Smoked Ricotta

The best chef in Rome is Heinz Beck, a German who has been serving up his specialities in the "La Pergola" restaurant since 1994. Now he shows how to make his tomato tortellini with aubergines and smoked ricotta.

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Tomato Tortellini with Aubergines and Smoked Ricotta
Serves 4

Filling:
900 grams of aubergine, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 garlic clove 25 mls extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste

Tortellini:
160 grams of plain flour, 80 grams of semolina, 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, 35 grams tomato paste, large pinch of salt

Tomato Sauce:
2 garlic cloves, half a chili pepper, 2 ml extra virgin olive oil, 250 grams tomatoes chopped into small cubes, 1 sprig of basil

Basil Oil:
1 bunch of basil, 40 mls extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste`
50 grams smoked sheep's ricotta cheese


Method:
Cut half (450g) of the aubergines into two, cut slits into the open surface, place in an ovenproof dish, add the herbs, garlic, olive oil and salt and bake in an oven for about 40 minutes at 140 Celsius. Take the aubergines from the oven, scrape out the pulp with a spoon, allow to cool and purée in a mixer. Cut the remaining aubergine into cubes, fry in olive oil with a pinch of salt until cooked through and add to the purée.

Tortellini:
Make a dough from the flour, semolina, egg and yolks, tomato paste, salt and enough water to bind. Leave in a cool place to stand for one hour. Roll the dough thinly, cut into circles about 6 - 8 cm diam. Paint one side with beaten egg, place a teaspoon of the filling in the centre, fold the dough over to form a semi-circle and press to close. Finally bend the two points towards each other to make the traditional tortellini shape.

Cook them in boiling water in batches for 3 - 5 minutes, or until they rise to the surface.

Tomato Sauce:
Fry the garlic cloves and chili pepper in hot olive oil. Remove the garlic, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until reduced by half. Push through a fine sieve, add basil and salt to taste.

Basil Oil:
Whizz the basil, olive oil and salt in a mixer until smooth.

Decorate plates with tomato sauce and basil oil. Place the cooked tortellini in the centre and put narrow strips of sheep's ricotta on top.

Enjoy