Minestrone is an Italian soup that usually combines vegetables and either pasta or rice. This version takes the classic one step further with the addition of ham, tortellini, and a flaky pie crust.
- For the Tortellini:
- 2 cups Soft Goat Cheese
- 2 Extra Large Eggs (beaten)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 1/2 recipe fresh Pasta
- For the Minestrone:
- Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion (large dice)
- 4 Celery Stalk (large dice)
- 4 Carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2 moon shapes)
- 1 Potato (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice)
- 3 Garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 pound Ham Steak (cut into cubes)
- 4 peeled and whole San Marzano Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh Parsley (chopped)
- 10 cups Chicken Stock (hot)
- 4 small Zucchini (medium dice)
- 1 1/2 cups Cannellini beans (cooked)
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- handful of chopped Basil Leaves
- 2 cups Kale (finely shredded)
- For the Pie Crust:
- 5 cups Cake Flour (plus more for dusting)
- 6 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups cold Unsalted Butter (cut into small chunks)
- 1/2 cup Ice Water (plus more if needed)
- 1 Egg plus 1 tablespoon Cream
- For the Tortellini: In a large mixing bowl, mash the goat cheese cheese until soft. Add the eggs, nutmeg, Parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper and stir well. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Using a pasta machine, roll out the pasta to the thinnest setting and then cut the sheets into 2-inch squares.
- Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each 2-inch square. Using a bit of water to seal the edges, fold the opposite corners together to form a triangle and press the edges together firmly to seal. Bring the long points of the triangle together and join with firm finger pressure. Continue filling and shaping tortellini until all the pasta and filling are used.
- Add the tortellini to the minestrone soup in the last 6 minutes of cooking. Take one tortellini out to test doneness, and once it is cooked through, the soup is ready to serve.
- For the Minestrone: In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, and add the celery, carrots, potatoes and garlic. Allow to simmer over low heat until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the ham pieces and cook 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and the parsley. Cook for 5 more minutes so that the flavors meld.
- Add the hot stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and add the zucchini and the cannellini beans. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat so that the liquid is simmering. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through. Add more stock if necessary. Stir in the Parmigiano to taste, and top each serving with some chopped basil.
- For the Pie Crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just forms a ball without being too wet or sticky.
- Remove the dough from the processor and pat it into two flat disks, each about 2 inches thick. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove one round of dough from the fridge. Sprinkle your work surface and a rolling pin lightly with cake flour. Roll the dough out into 16-inch rounds, about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough tears, press the edges back together. Cut small slits in the middle to allow steam to vent. Brush the dough with the egg wash.
- Add the shredded kale to the soup now and just place it on top of the soup. This will help hold up the crust long enough to get it in the oven and set. Transfer the dough to the minestrone pot. Allow excess to hang over the edges.
- Place on a sheet tray and then place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.