(photo: closeup of tortellini, broth, and chicken)
Tortellini in Brodo represents everything Italian food ought to be; that is to say, simple, satisfying, and elegant.
(photo: closeup of pasta and chicken)
(photo: tortellini en brodo in a bowl)
- 2-3 carrots, diced roughly
- 1 onion, diced roughly
- 4-5 stalks of celery, diced roughly
- 1-2 plum, Roma, or San Marzano tomatoes, diced roughly
- 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
- Parsley, chopped roughly
- 4 quarts of fresh, filtered, water
- 1 whole chicken (anywhere between 3.5-4.5 pounds) buy the best chicken you can afford as this ingredient will dictate how well your broth or brodo comes out
- 1 package of tortellini
- Roughly butcher the chicken into 8 pieces (11 if you're lucky enough to have the head and feet), making sure to remove the skin and any unnecessary fat. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Move all the ingredients into a large pot and cover; bring to a boil over a high flame. Once a boil is reached reduce the heat.
- Thereafter, simmer for 2-2.5 hours. Depending on the amount of fat in the chicken you may want to skim the excess fat from the top layer contained in the pot. You can prepare your pasta in a separate pot and add to your soup pot five minutes prior to the pasta being fully cooked. You can finish cooking the tortellini in the brodo (on a high simmer / light bowl).
(photo: hot broth ready for tortellini)
You can of course make your own tortellini or buy some perfectly fine tortellini from your local Italian specialty store. I like spinach tortellini for the color and subtle flavor of the spinach in the dough. Add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano before serving and enjoy with a cold glass of lager or white wine. Note: I know purist would argue for a lighter colored brodo but I enjoy a slightly darker brodo simply because of the enhanced flavor; moreover, I also like adding some of the meat used to make the brodo in the serving bowl along with the tortellini.