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Adam Newell's pork belly minestrone recipes - 7 August

Pork Belly Minestrone with Ricotta Tortellini

This is one of my favourite soups jazzed up with pork belly, and instead of using spaghetti in the soup I make little ricotta cheese tortellini. If you cannot get pork belly, a smoked pork hock will be great. Just flake all the meat off the bone when the soup is cooked. I seem to always make this soup in winter but if you make it in summer a spoonful of basil pesto really adds great flavour to it.

For the Soup
1 white onion finely chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 large carrot finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely diced
1 leek finely diced
75 grams butter
500 grams pork belly cut into big lardoons
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
Tablespoon thyme leaves
1 litre chicken stock
Pinch of dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan

For the Tortellini
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
Grated nutmeg
250-gram ricotta cheese
1 packet of dumpling wrappers or fresh pasta
50 grams grated Parmesan
100 grams chopped cooked spinach

1. Lightly melt the butter in a deep saucepan then add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and leek and cooked for 5 mins on a gentle heat until the vegetables are soft. Add the pork belly and cook for a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further 3 to 5 mins then add the chicken stock and bring to the boil then add the chopped tinned tomatoes. Cook for 1 hour simmering until the pork belly is tender.

3. Saute the onion and garlic for the tortellini and add the grated nutmeg, remove from the heat and add the ricotta cheese and Parmesan fold in the chopped spinach.

4. Place the dumpling discs on your bench and place a teaspoon of mix in the middle of the disc, lightly brush with water then fold the edge of the dumpling over to make a semi circle fully enclosing the cheese. Pick up the semi circle and twist the ends around so they touch and press gently so they stick together this will give you your shape.

When the soup is almost finished cook the tortellini in salted boiling water until they are three-quarters cooked then remove and finish them in the soup.

To Serve
Ladle the soup into wide soup bowls and add 4 or 5 tortellini per bowl and finish with freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.