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Tortellini of lardo with stemperata

These tiny morsels are luscious and silky in the mouth. The rich rendered lardo released from the tortellini is tempered by the sweet and sour flavour of the stemperata.

You'll need

250 gm lardo (see note), cut into 2cm pieces 1 egg, lightly beaten For brushing: eggwash To serve: finely grated parmesan   Pasta dough 220 gm (1 cup) plain flour 1 egg   Stemperata 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 3 celery stalks, finely chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped 150 gm pitted large green olives, such as gordal or Sicilian green, finely chopped 50 gm raisins 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed 30 ml white wine vinegar 1 tbsp finely chopped oregano leaves


  • 01
  • Place lardo in a saucepan with 60ml water, simmer over low heat until lard renders (40-45 minutes). Pour rendered lard into a bowl, refrigerate until solid, then whip with a wooden spoon until light and airy. Stir in egg, season to taste, refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For pasta dough, place flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add egg, then gradually add 30ml cold water and stir until mixture just comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth (5-7 minutes). Wrap in plastic wrap, set aside to rest (30-40 minutes).
  • 03
  • Divide pasta into four pieces, then, working with one piece at a time and using a pasta machine with rollers at widest setting, feed dough through rollers. Fold in half lengthways, then feed through rollers again, reducing settings notch by notch until pasta is 1mm thick. Repeat with remaining pasta.
  • 04
  • Cut pasta into 5cm squares and, working with one at a time, place a teaspoon of lard mixture into centre of each, brush edges with eggwash, fold diagonally to form a triangle and press edges to seal, ensuring no air is trapped in filling. Bring bottom corners of triangle together, press to seal. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Place on a lightly floured tray, refrigerate until required.
  • 05
  • For stemperata, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add celery and onion and sauté until tender (3-4 minutes). Add olives, raisins, garlic and capers, cook until warmed through (1-2 minutes). Add vinegar and oregano and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Cook until vinegar evaporates (4-5 minutes), set aside.
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat, add tortellini, cook until they float to the surface (2-3 minutes). Divide among bowls, spoon over stemperata, scatter with finely grated parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, serve immediately.

Note Lardo is pork back fat that has been salted and cured. The most famous lardo comes from Colonnata in Italy where it's salted in large marble tubs. It's available from select delicatessens.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Pear-crisp arneis.

Featured in

May 2009

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