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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 1 - Minestrone with spatzle and mint gremolata

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE

Minestrone with Spatzle and Mint Gremolata

by Peter Vickery

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Diced vegetables:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 rashers bacon, fat and rind removed and reserved, 2 rashers of lean meat reserved for soup
1 potato, peeled and 1cm diced
1 field mushroom, peeled, stalk removed and diced
3 tomatoes, core and seeds removed, chopped
1/2 cup peas

500ml vegetable stock
Reserved potato and mushroom skins, tomato core and seeds, rendered bacon rind and reserved 2
rashers of bacon lean meat
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
20ml water

Mint Gremolata
Peeled rind of half a lemon, pith removed, julienne
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add bacon rinds and 2 rashers diced lean bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add potato,
mushroom and tomatoes and sweat for 5-10 minutes until softened.

2. For the soup, add stock, vegetable cuttings, rendered bacon rind and remaining uncooked lean bacon meat, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain.

3. Add 1 cup of strained soup over the vegetables and keep warm over a low heat until required, topping up with extra soup if needed.

4. For pasta, add flour to a bowl, make a well in the middle, add salt, oil, egg, and enough water to create a soft dough. Work the mixture with your hand, incorporating the flour until combined. Turn onto a clean floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for 20-30 minutes.

5. Rub a small amount of the dough between your hands to create small 1cm lengths of dough. Dust with flour and reserve until ready to cook.

6. For gremolata, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Cook pasta in remaining stock for 4-5 minutes until tender.

8. To serve, scatter cooked vegetables and pasta around a serving dish, ladle in stock and garnish with gremolata.