Mezzelune with Green Asparagus Filling and Lemon-Hazelnut Sauce

In nearly every country, there is some form of stuffed pasta. Whether it's called tortellini, ravioli or “Maultaschen” - we can’t get enough of them. According to Wikipedia, the pasta we will be making today is called “Schlutzkrapfen” in Tyrolean cuisine and “mezzelune” in Italian, which means half-moon.

But enough talking, let's get started! Preparing mezzelune is not as complicated as you might think. You don't even need any fancy kitchen tools to do so. We rolled out our dough with a rolling pin, which worked fine. But if you do have a pasta maker, I recommend using it since the result might be even better.

So what should we serve and fill our mezzelune with? When I think of spring, I think of asparagus. So todayI paired it with fresh lemon and hazelnut. The lemons add acidity and freshness, making this recipe perfect for the (hopefully) warm days ahead. Of course, if you want to change it up, you can substitute many ingredients. I tested loads of different fillings. Plant-based cream cheese and plant-based crème fraîche both worked well. You can also use plant-based ricotta, but it can be hard to find at the store. You can also exchange the hazelnuts with any other nuts you like and the green asparagus can easily be replaced with white asparagus if you prefer it. So long story short: whatever you use in the end will taste amazing!
Plus, no worries if you end up with leftover filling.You can add it to your lemon-hazelnut sauce –it tastes great, trust me! Homemade pasta requires patience, but it's worth it.

R739 - Mezzelune with Asparagus Filling
R739 - Mezzelune with Asparagus Filling
R739 - Mezzelune with Asparagus Filling

Mezzelune with Green Asparagus Filling and Lemon-Hazelnut Sauce

2 servings
90 minutes

Ingredients

For the pasta dough:

  • 100 g (0.75 cup) spelt flour
  • 100 g (0.75 cup) durum wheat semolina
  • 100 ml (0.33 cup) water
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the filling:

  • 70 g (2.5 oz) hazelnuts
  • 200 g (7 oz) green asparagus
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) plant-based cream cheese
  • 40 g (1.75 oz) vegan parmesan
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt
  • pepper

For the lemon-hazelnut sauce:

  • 100 ml (0.33 cup) plant-based unsweetened heavy cream
  • 100 ml (0.33 cup) water
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut butter
  • 0.5 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • Pepper

Also:

  • 250 g (9 oz) green asparagus
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vegan butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

  1. First, prepare the pasta dough. Combine flour, durum wheat semolina, water, salt, and olive oil in a bowl and knead well. The dough should not stick to your hands. Then refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

  2. Chop and toast hazelnuts in a fat-free pan until golden brown. Reserve 30 g (1 oz) of the toasted hazelnuts for decoration.

  3. For the filling, wash asparagus, trim any woody ends and peel the stems if necessary. Cut the stalks into small pieces. Peel and dice onion and garlic cloves.

  4. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Then add chopped asparagus and sauté over medium heat for another 10 minutes until the asparagus is fork-tender. Next, add lemon zest and juice. Remove the pan from heat and let cool slightly. Then mix everything with roasted hazelnuts, plant-based cream cheese and vegan parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tip: Don't be afraid to overseason the filling, as the pasta dough is neutral in taste.

  1. Thinly roll out the pasta dough on a dusted surface and cut out circles (approx. 5 cm/ 2 inch). Add about 1 tsp of the filling in the middle of each circle, moisten the edges with water, and stick together to seal the filling.

Tip: If you have any leftover filling, you can simply add it to the sauce later on.

  1. Wash the rest of the green asparagus, trim the woody ends and peel if necessary. Bring a large pot of water, vegan butter, salt and sugar to a boil and cook the asparagus for about 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain the asparagus and set aside.

7.Parallely, bring a second pot of salted water to a boil and add mezzelune one by one. Let simmer over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until they rise to the surface. Then carefully remove them from the water.

  1. While the pasta is cooking, add plant-based cream cheese, water, lemon juice, hazelnut butter, onion powder, and garlic powder to a saucepan or frying pan. Mix and let simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Add mezzelune and the green asparagus to a serving plate, drizzle with lemon-hazelnut sauce and sprinkle toasted hazelnuts on top.

R739 - Mezzelune with Asparagus Filling
R739 - Mezzelune with Asparagus Filling

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