Thursday, January 6, 2011
Tortellini en Brodo
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This soup, which I serve as a light entrée, is what happens when an Irish gal is allowed to play with Italian food. These days, most versions of this soup are made with a mildly flavored chicken stock and very little else. My version is an attempt to capture the taste memory of a dish much loved by my family, and it is a bit more ambitious than that. Years ago, there was a restaurant in Bayonne, New Jersey, called La Strada. Bob would occasionally lunch there and when he did, he dared not come home without a quart of their tortellini en brodo for the rest of us to enjoy. The broth is what set their version of this soup apart from that served in other restaurants. It was deep and rich in color and redolent of pancetta. Thinking things would ever be the same, I never thought to ask for the recipe and when we swapped coasts I was left with only a memory of an outstanding dish. Those who are familiar with this Italian treasure know that one of the things that commend it, is the ease with which it can be prepared. If you have a source for fresh tortellini and access to good stock, this truly is a 30 minute meal. I use commercially available chicken and beef broth to make the brodo in which my tortellini bathe. It took a while, but I learned I could nearly duplicate the La Strada broth if I allowed canned broth to simmer with shallots, garlic, pancetta and white wine for about 20 minutes before ladling it over tortellini. Bob requested this for dinner tonight, along with his favorite pie. He had cataract surgery today and because of the anesthesia, he wanted something light for supper. The procedure went well and he'll be better than brand new in a day or two, but until then we'll spoil him - a little. I'll feature the pie, which is truly outstanding, tomorrow. Tonight, I'm happy to share my recipe for tortellini en brodo with you. Here's how it's made.
Tortellini en Brodo...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1/4 cup finely minced shallots or red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 cup water
1 (13-oz.) bag Barilla tortellini (fresh if possible)
1) Film bottom of a large saucepan with oil. When hot, add pancetta and saute until lightly brown. Add shallots and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in wine and, scrapping bottom of pan, cook over high heat until nearly evaporated. Add chicken, beef broth and water and simmer for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and tortellini. Cook according to package directions. Drain. Place 14 to 18 tortellini in bottom of each of 4 shallow soup bowls. Ladle hot both over all. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.
You might also like these recipes:
Tuscan Bean Soup - One Perfect Bite
Zuppa Pavese - Aglio Olio and Peperoncino
Hearty and Healthy Minestrone - The Average Foodie
Minestrone d'Inverno - Luna's Recipes
La Ribollita - Memorie di Angelina
Roasted Vegetable Minestrone - A Bitchin' Kitchen
Pasta Fagioli with Fresh Cranberry Beans - What's for Dinner Across State Lines