Tortellini al brodo
This is a traditional recipe for the Christmas holidays here in Florence, really wonderful when made from scratch! My mother-in-law makes the tortellini every Christmas as a soup dish, cooking the tortellini in homemade meat broth and serving it with some freshly grated parmigiano cheese on top.
This recipe produces a lot of tortellini; I recommend that if you are going to make the effort of making tortellini from scratch, you should definitely go ahead and make the whole batch, freezing the tortellini and then separating them into 4 serving size bags that you can later take out as you need and use for a meal.
To freeze fresh pasta with a meat filling (such as this one), line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread out the pasta on the sheet so that the pieces do not touch. Freeze overnight then gently drop the pieces into heavy freezer bags and seal, leaving some air in the bag to protect the pasta from being crushed. Freeze up to 3 months.
Makes: about 200 tortellini pieces, but really depends on how big or small you make them
- 150 gr. prosciutto crudo (about 5.3 ounces)
- 150 gr. mortadella (about 5.3 ounces)
- 2 sausages
- 2 eggs
- 50 gr. parmigiano cheese (1.75 ounces)
- 500 gr. unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1.1 lb)
- 5 eggs
- pinch of salt
- beef broth, from the bollito recipe
- Combine the prosciutto crudo, mortadella and sausage in a blender and blend until everything is finely chopped and well blended. Add the two eggs and the parmiggiano and blend well. Set aside.
- On a clean counter, shape the flour into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and salt to the well. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, drawing flour as you go, until the eggs are mixed and slightly thickened. Using your fingertips, gradually incorportate the flour into the eggs and blend into a smooth dough.
- Knead the dough until satiny and very elastic, about 10 minutes. With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out thin sheets of pasta. The pasta needs to remain moist, so cover the sheets with plastic wrap as you work.
- Cut the pasta into 2 inch rounds using a biscuit cutter. Place a 1/4 tsp of the meat filling in the center of each round, fold each round in half and seal the edges. Bring the tails of the half circle together, overlapping them and twist one over the other. At this point you can freeze any pasta you want as indicated above or proceed to cook them in the meat broth for an immediate warm, satisfying soup.
- Bring the beef broth to a boil, then drop the tortellini into the broth. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered. The tortellini should float to the surface once they are done, around 5 minutes. Make sure to not overcrowd the pot; if you must, cook the pasta in batches. (To cook frozen pasta, just drop the still frozen tortellini into the boiling broth and cook for an extra minute or two.)