Chives grow abundantly in our garden and although the plants, at 3 years old, are a bit tougher and woodier than I’d like they still put forth a beautiful crown of purple flowers at this time of year, which is as attractive to me as it is to the bumble bees that frequent our herb bed in droves. The flowers are even more delicious than the green chive itself, with a delicate perfumed garlicky-ness I find quite addictive. If you don’t grow your own and can’t get hold of the flowers by any other means you could of course substitute fresh chopped green chives in this, just use a bit less to avoid them overpowering the other flavours. Half the flavour of the potatoes is in their skins so I leave them on as you want to get maximum flavour from the simple constituents of the filling here, and I like to use Burford Brown eggs for my pasta, as the orange yolks give a great rich colour.
Chive flower tortelloni with new potatoes and raclette cheese
500g ’00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
4 medium eggs + 6 egg yolks
For the filling:
1kg new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
300g raclette cheese (or any other good melty cheese)
5 tbsp chive flowers (approx 10 heads)
You will also need a pasta machine
Put the flour and eggs in a food processor and pulse until it forms a dough (or mix by hand on a clean worktop, breaking the eggs into a well in the centre of the flour and working in gradually). Knead the dough on a clean worktop for a few minutes until you have a smooth, pliable dough, then divide into eight portions, wrap well in clingfilm and leave to rest for an hour.