Handmade spinach and tofu tortellini in a light tomato broth, seasoned with sesame and white miso, mushroom stock and kalamata olives.

his is a rich but light soup, great for winter, but good all year round. With a little practice and technique, tortellini are not as time-consuming as they look.


For the filling
1/2t coarse sea salt
2t lemon juice
1T olive oil
2T sesame seed butter (I use a fair trade brand)
1T white miso
1T fresh garlic, minced
100g extra firm tofu
1 cup loose spinach
1t milled flax seed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the pasta
1 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup cool water
1t olive oil
A pinch of sea salt

For the tomato broth
1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced (2″ – 3″ green reserved for garnish)
1/2t dried basil, rubbed
1/4t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried tarragon, rubbed
1/4t black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1/4t red Thai chili paste (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T lemon juice
2 cups passata (or tomato puree)
2 cups mushroom stock
1 cup baby arugula
2T kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1T nutritional yeast (for garnish)


Start the filling first, then the pasta, then the broth. Press your tofu if you feel it needs it. In a small bowl, whisk the sea salt, lemon juice, white miso, garlic, olive oil and sesame seed butter. Add the mixture with the tofu to a food processor and chop finely. Add the spinach and mince, but be careful not to liquefy the spinach. Add the nutritional yeast and flax seed and stir to combine. You can also mince the spinach by hand. Wrap with plastic, set it aside for the flavors to mix, and start the pasta.

Combine the flour and sea salt. Combine the oil and water. Combine the wet with the dry, and stir by hand until a dough forms. Keep kneading until you have a smooth, lightly rubbery dough and then knead another minute or two. The dough may seem too dry initially. Just keep kneading. Cover with a warm wet tea towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Around the 20 minute mark, start the broth. In a large pan with a lid, bring the cooking oil to heat with the sea salt on medium high. Add the scallions, green herbs, chili and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Add the passata and the mushroom stock, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently while you make the pasta.

Roll the dough out on a floured board to a large rectangle, 1/8″ thick. Trim the side for any unevenness and ball up the leftover dough. If you can do smaller squares with a little less filling, that’s a little nicer, but it’s more difficult and more time-consuming. So, for a quick version, cut the dough in 1.5 inch squares. If they’re not perfect squares — even them out a little with your rolling pin individually when you go to fill them. Season the filling to taste, and then fill each square with about 1/2T to 2t filling.

When it comes to filling the tortellini, practice makes perfect. Fill each square by making an oblong cylinder of filling that aligns with two points (as if the square were a diamond) rather than a little round dollop in the middle. You’re going to pinch the tortellini in a triangle, starting with the top.

As if the tortellini were a napkin, hold it up by the two points of the diamond perpendicular to the filing. Pinch the top two points firmly. With the top securely pinched, pack the filling a little to one side and seam up the other side carefully. Now, pack the filling to the seamed side with a finger and seam up. You should have something that looks like a triangle. Take the two bottom ends of the triangle, wrap around your little finger and pinch so that the tortellini forms a little circle — like a ring.

Repeat the process until you’ve used all of your dough or all of your filling. Roll out any extra pasta scraps if you can. You’ll probably find you can add a little filling until you get used to the amount to use.

Once you’ve rolled out tortellini, bring the water to a boil. Add them carefully to the water and boil until they float (should be 3-5 minutes). Don’t overcook, since you’re going to simmer them a little in the soup. Drain them carefully in a colander, reserving 2T of the pasta water, and rinse with cool water.

Add the tortellini and the pasta water to the soup and let them simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula and olive,and gently stir to combine. Let stand 2 minutes too cool and let the arugula wilt. Season to taste. Spoon out the tortellini with the soup in shallow dishes. Sprinkle the tortellini with nutritional yeast, garnish with scallions and serve.