“This dish stood out to me because it looked really good,” Benjamin Cooper explains with a laugh, plating up in the busy kitchen of Italian eatery Baby, the sister venue to Chin Chin and Kong. “But it also seemed really comforting. It had a warmth to it that made me really hungry.”
Kylie Szeremeta submitted a standout original recipe as her entry into Bank of Melbourne’s #socialfeeds competition. It calls for Faudel Farmhouse ash chèvre. However, Cooper says a non-ashed goat’s cheese, such as Milawa, will also balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin. “You just need something with a bit of bite that will give the dish length in the palate.”
200g plain flour, Italian type 00 is best
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg, plus egg wash
1 cup pumpkin, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
1/4 cup chèvre
2 tsp dukkah or finely chopped nuts
2 tbsp orange glaze or marmalade
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Edible flowers and baby herbs to garnish
Extra virgin olive oil
To make the pasta, metodo tradizionale
To give your pasta a delicate texture, use superfine 00 flour and sift onto a board to aerate. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and yolks.
Gently bring the mix together with your hands, adding a dash of extra virgin olive oil if needed. When a dough forms, shape into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge to rest.
At Baby, head chef Jonathan Alston leaves the dough overnight but an hour and a half will do if you’re hungry.
For the pumpkin and chèvre filling
While the pasta dough rests, fry the pumpkin in a teaspoon of butter with garlic and thyme. Add two teaspoons of marmalade to the pan, and cook until the pumpkin begins to caramelise.
For added flavour, Cooper suggests roasting the pumpkin instead. An hour in a baking paper-lined tray at 180°C should do the trick.
Pulse the pumpkin, chèvre, thyme, salt and pepper into a purée, retaining a slightly chunky texture.
To make the tortellini
Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Starting with the rollers on the widest setting, feed one half through a pasta machine. With each pass, reduce the thickness of the rollers by one notch. Roll your pasta until it is about 3–4mm thick.
On a well-floured surface, cut the pasta into circles. Spoon a teaspoon of pumpkin filling into the centre of each. Be careful not to overfill – the filling will expand when the tortellini are cooked.
Brush around each circle with egg wash – this will act as the glue – and fold over into a semi-circle. Starting at the top, gently press along the edge to seal, ensuring there’s no air left inside. Bend the tortellini around your pinkie finger, closing the ends together.
Bring heavily salted water to a rolling boil and cook the tortellini for about 4–5 minutes, or until they float to the top. Chef Alston adds a pro tip: “A dusting of flour on the tortellini will help the sauce bind to the pasta.”
Melt the remaining butter with thyme and dukkah until golden brown. Remove from the heat, quickly add lemon juice and the remaining marmalade, and stir through the tortellini.
To serve, dot the plate with rocket and tomato chili oil, before sprinkling the tortellini with edible flowers and chopped nuts for texture.
Kylie’s Pumpkin & Ash Chèvre Tortellini is just one of the mouth-watering entries that could be featured in Bank of Melbourne and Benjamin Cooper's crowd-sourced cookbook, Social Feeds.
Entry for #SocialFeeds has now closed. Stay tuned, because Bank of Melbourne will be announcing the featured recipes shortly.