Sheep's milk ricotta tortellini, wild garlic soup, mussels and spring vegetables

Sheep's milk ricotta tortellini, wild garlic soup, mussels and spring vegetables

Pillowy sheep's milk ricotta are served in a silky wild garlic soup with mussels in this pretty-as-a-picture spring recipe from Rob Chambers.
  • Cooking:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the pasta dough the day before. Place the flour and semolina on the board and make a well. Add the whisked egg yolks and using a fork, gradually mix the yolks in, working from the centre out. Once it all comes together, start to knead with your hands until the dough is smooth. Wrap with cling film and leave to rest overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature a couple of hours before use
  2. Step 2

    Place the mussels under cold running water for 5 minutes then place on a cooling rack inside a tray. Fill the tray until they are covered with cold water and add a pinch of salt, then leave to rest overnight
  3. Step 3

    Blanch the parsley and wild garlic leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh under cold water and freeze for a few hours (or overnight) 
  4. Step 4

    To make the tortellini filling, place the peas, mint, lemon zest, olive oil and a pinch of salt into a blender and pulse. This mixture should remain quite coarse. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Place in a piping bag and leave in the fridge
  5. Step 5

    To make the nage, heat a frying pan and add the vegetable oil. Sweat the onions and celery until softened, then add the garlic and the chopped parsley stalks and wild garlic. Cover with water and a lid and bring to the boil, then remove and cover with cling film before leaving to cool. Pass the cold liquid through a sieve and discard the remnants
  6. Step 6

    Once your pasta dough has come up to temperature cut it into three pieces, making sure to keep the dough that isn’t being used covered by cling film so it doesn’t dry out. Work each piece through the pasta machine, starting with the largest setting and moving down one each time until you obtain machine’s-width sized sheets
  7. Step 7

    Once all the dough has been worked, cut the sheets in half once and then again into squares. Pipe the filling into the middle of each square, slightly more than a pea shape in size. Take a square and fold diagonally to make a triangle, making sure there is no trapped air. Take the bottom corners of the triangle and fold around your index finger, so they meet and then squeeze these together so they bind. Lay the tortellini on a tray lined with parchment paper to rest
  8. Step 8

    To make the emulsion, bring a heavy-bottomed pan to a high heat and add the oil. Add the diced onion, garlic and parsley, then add the drained mussels, cover with white wine and add the pan lid to keep the steam in
  9. Step 9

    When the mussels have opened, give them a shake and pour everything through a sieve, then sieve the mussel stock through a muslin cloth or a clean tea towel and refrigerate. Pick the mussels out of their shells, place into a container and refrigerate
  10. Step 10

    Next, blanch the peas, broad beans and asparagus in heavily-salted water for one minute, then cool in iced water. Thinly slice the courgette and parsley and dice the smoked eel and the butter, keeping all the components separate
  11. Step 11

    Make the soup by heating the olive oil and sweating the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Add the sliced potato and cover with 1.5 litres of the nage. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer half of this to a blender (only up to half of the jug) and blend with the frozen parsley and wild garlic. Add the anchovy fillets and oil and pass through a sieve into a bowl resting over iced water. Add salt and lemon juice to taste
  12. Step 12

    To assemble, warm up six bowls in a 50°c oven and warm up the soup in a pan. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the mussels, eel and vegetables plus 3 or 4 tbsps of mussel stock. Bring to the boil and simmer. Add lemon juice to taste and add the thinly-sliced parsley. Take off the heat and cover with the lid until the pasta is ready
  13. Step 13

    Blanch the tortellini for 2 minutes in salted boiling water and strain carefully, then place them in pan with the mussel emulsion. Shake gently until the tortellini are fully covered
  14. Step 14

    Divide the soup between the six bowls, then dress with the mussels, eel, vegetables and tortellini. Finish with a nice drizzle of olive oil, celery leaf and a few garlic flowers. Pick the tips of the pea shoots and add to garnish