Soup Sundays: Tortelloni En Brodo

Tortelloni en brodo

One of the best things Jeff and I ate on our honeymoon in Italy was a simple soup called tortellini en brodo. We had this soup while dining outdoors at a small restaurant in Bologna, the city where tortellini is said to have been invented. I ordered the soup as my appetizer and ended up having to share the whole bowl with Jeff. I still think about that soup to this day, and just over a year later, I finally re-created it in my own kitchen. I won't say my version was as intensely flavorful as the one we had, but it definitely satisfied that year-long craving.

I followed a recipe in The New Book of Soups for the brodo (or broth) and then used recipes from the cooking class I took with Jody Adams for the pasta dough and tortelloni filling. (Tortelloni are a little bigger than tortellini, and I thought the bigger squares of dough would be more manageable for my first attempt.)

I got going on the filling first since it requires cooking pork and garlic and then letting them cool before proceeding. Once the pork mixture was cool, I added minced mortadella and prosciutto, some ricotta, minced parsley, Parmesan, and an egg and stirred it all together.

Ground porkMeats for tortelloni

Ingredients for tortelloni fillingTortelloni filling

The prospect of making pasta always intimidates me, but then I start doing it and remember how easy it is. This dough is a simple mixture of all-purpose flour, a little semolina flour, and salt that gets moistened and brought together in the food processor with a couple of eggs and lots of egg yolks. Once it comes together, it needs a 20-minute rest and then it's time to start rolling.

Flours for tortelloni doughEggs for tortelloni dough

Tortelloni dough

I have a crank-style pasta machine. I really wanted it at the time, but now I think the KitchenAid attachment might be a smarter choice and save a bit of time (and muscle). Still, it's easy enough to use. I rolled out the dough in small pieces, running it through over and over again, changing to a thinner setting each time, and then cut each sheet into 3-inch squares. I arranged the squares on a baking sheet lined with a semolina-dusted towel and covered them with another towel to keep them moist.

Tortelloni dough

Once I had all my squares cut out, I filled them and shaped them into tortelloni. I covered my shaped tortelloni and put the whole sheet of them in the freezer. Once they were frozen, I transferred them to a freezer bag. I took out as many as we wanted to eat that night for the soup and kept the rest in the freezer, using them each night throughout the week.

Filling tortelloniTortelloni

I added the frozen tortelloni to the broth and simmered them until tender and heated through.

Tortelloni en brodo

And then I ladled soup into our bowls, sprinkled a little grated Parmesan on top, and served the soup with homemade cornetti (traditional rolls from Emilia-Romagna; I found the recipe in The Modern Baker) and a simple arugula-Parmesan salad.

CornettiTortelloni en brodo

My tortelloni en brodo was definitely reminiscent of the the delicious soup we'd eaten in Bologna. I loved the meaty tortelloni filling and knowing that I had made every component from scratch.

(We also enjoyed the tortelloni in red sauce to break up just having them in soup. They'll last for about a week in the freezer.)

Have you ever made filled pasta?

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to cookbooks I love. If you follow the links to purchase the books or make other purchases after you've clicked on the links, I'll earn a few cents.