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II.180 To prepare tortellni with fresh peas or haricot beans.

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I trialled this recipe alongside another from Scappi (II.179) and one from Castelvetro, so these are what the comparison is to.

Scappi, Bartolomeo, Scully, Terence (trans.), The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570): L'arte et prudenza d'un maestro cuoco(Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2008)

Espying this recipe below the herb tortellini I was intending to try, I decided on a whim to make this also. As this was a last minute decision, I was missing a couple of ingredients, but had enough to get the gist of the dish.

I cooked my approximately 400g of broad beans in vegetable broth rather than meat broth, so that they were still appropriate for the vegetarian at the table. Again I put these through the food processor rather than crushing them by hand. They possibly could have done with a little longer blending as they were not quite as smooth as the ones from Castelvetro's recipe. Since I had cooked them in broth rather than water, the blended mixture came out fairly brown. To this I added a couple of egg yolks, a teaspoon each of pepper and cinnamon, a pinch each of nutmeg and cloves, and a tablespoon of sugar. As I mentioned, I did not have the spring onions fried in butter but if I was trying the recipe again with the same amount of beans, I would use a bunch of spring onions sliced finely and fried in a tablespoon of butter. I added about 1/2 a cup of cheese, using Parmesan and a block edam instead of ricotta as I had not planned on making it. The cheese flavour did not really come through, but I think this would have been improved with the use of ricotta instead. As it was, the mixture was already quite a lot sloppier than Castelvetro's, so I was quite glad to be using hard cheese in place of soft since this would just have made filling the tortellini more difficult.

I used the same dough recipe as the one above, for convenience, as I was most interested in trialling the different fillings rather than focusing on the doughs. The recipe I should have used omits eggs, the ingredients instead being flour, rosewater, salt, butter, sugar and warm water. I have made this dough before and it works quite well. I do not think it would affect the overall taste of the finished tortellini too much as they are cooked in broth as well, so there are quite a lot of other flavours going on around them.

I cooked the tortellini in vegetable broth rather than meat broth, bearing in mind the vegetarians.

In general, my testers liked this recipe as it had a bit more flavour. It was a wee bit sweet, which some people liked but put others off. Some preferred this over the other two recipes, however, the herb tortellini below won the day as they thought it would better compliment the lamb. It would be interesting to try the recipe again with fresh peas to see what difference this brings overall, and whether this would be more popular than the recipe when made with broad beans.