Tortellini in brodo

  • medium
  • 6
  • 2 hours 30 minutes

Making tortellini from scratch is a labour of love, which is why it's often associated with Italian Christmas as the whole family can pitch in to make a batch. This tortellini in brodo recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy them, with the pork-filled pasta parcels bobbing around in a clear chicken broth.

First published in 2018

Tortellini have to be the most iconic pasta shape in Italy, and certainly the most iconic fresh pasta hailing from Emilia Romagna. Typical of the city of Bologna, though consumed all over the region (and beyond) tortellini are, just like any other traditional regional Italian dish, a much-debated matter, concerning everything from the dough and the filling to the shape and the broth they are cooked in. Many tend to agree on what makes the filling: mostly pork meat, mortadella and prosciutto. As for the broth, chicken is an essential ingredient, though capon and beef are also sometimes added – the former during the Christmas holidays, the latter when available.

These days, tortellini are still an excuse for families to reunite around the kitchen table and partake in the laborious task of preparing hundreds of little dumplings for the traditional Christmas meal. In this sense, they embody the spirit of the holiday season – a season of generous conviviality where tradition is key.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Broth

  • 600g of chicken bones, a carcass or wings will work too
  • 3l water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 potato, peeled
  • salt

Pasta

  • 200g of plain flour, sifted
  • 2 eggs

Filling

  • 200g of pork loin, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 200g of prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 200g of mortadella, thinly sliced
  • 100g of Parmesan, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Equipment

  • Pasta machine
  • Fine sieve

Method

1
Begin by making the broth. In a large pot set over a medium heat, combine all the ingredients for the broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours, removing any foam that forms on the surface. Allow the broth to cool slightly, then remove the chicken bones and vegetables and pass through a sieve. Reserve to one side
  • salt
  • 600g of chicken
  • 3l water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 potato, peeled
2
Whilst the stock is simmering, make the pasta dough. On a work surface, form the flour into a well. Crack the eggs into the centre of the well. Whisk the eggs with a fork, incorporating the flour a little at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Carry on with your hands, kneading the dough until you have a smooth, elastic ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g of plain flour, sifted
3
While the pasta is resting, make the filling. Melt the butter in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides. Remove from the heat and use a knife to mince it together with the prosciutto and mortadella. Combine the meat with the Parmesan and eggs, then season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 200g of pork loin, diced
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 200g of prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 200g of mortadella, thinly sliced
  • 100g of Parmesan, grated
  • 2 eggs
4
Divide the pasta dough into 3 pieces. Roll the balls out on a pasta machine, starting on the widest setting and moving progressively down to the lowest. Spread the sheets over a floured work surface. Cut each sheet into 3cm squares, then place a small amount of the filling onto each square (about half a teaspoon). Fold the square diagonally in half onto itself to form a triangle, then fold it agin so that the corners at the bases come together to form a pocket. Whilst you are forming the pasta try to squeeze out any air bubbles, as these will expand and burst. Use a little water to seal the pasta together if needed
5
Once you have sealed all the tortellini, reheat the broth. Season to taste and, once simmering, add the tortellini. Cook for about a minute, then remove from the heat
6
Divide the tortellini and broth between 6 serving bowls and top with grated Parmesan

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