I always have to satisfy a variety of diets at my table. A recent lunch gathering was no exception – vegetarians amongst the meat eaters! But, I had a strategy…
My method for vegetable sides, sauces or soups is to start with the universal base.
In the video I explain how to stage the cooking so that you end up with a vegetarian version of tortellini in brodo, and a roasted meat and vegetable stuffed tortellini in a chicken brodo, too.
It’s a traditional dish from Emilia-Romagna, the region of Italy around Bologna, called the “culinary heart” of Italia.
They’re famous for stuffed pasta among many other culinary wonders – mortadella (the original bologna), parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto and balsamic among them.
The tortellini’s rich roasted meat and vegetable stuffing is enrobed in a silky yet toothsome pasta skin. Scoop one up in your spoon filled with the delicate deep-flavored chicken broth and you’ll be in heaven.
Watch me make fresh pasta to use for the tortellini.
- 1 onion, cut in chunks
- 1 carrot, cut in chunks
- 1 rib celery, cut in chunks
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups water
- 1 pound chicken parts
- 8 ounces pork shoulder, cut in 2-inch cubes
- 2 ounces pancetta, (thick slice) cubed
- 2 ounces mortadella (thick slice), cubed
- 11/2 teaspoons crumbled dried porcini
- 1 small onion, cut in small pieces
- 1 rib of celery, cut in small pieces
- 1 small carrot, cut in small pieces
- 11/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 stem of rosemary, leaves only
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup grated parmigiano
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- (Watch me make the pasta dough in my fresh ravioli video episode.)
- Put a big pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil.
- When the oil begins to ripple add the onion, carrot, and celery.
- Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent. (You don’t want the vegetables to pick up any color.)
- Add the water and bring the pot to a gentle boil.
- (For the vegetarian version let the vegetable broth cook for about 20 minutes and set some aside before adding the chicken.)
- Add the chicken and cook until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
- Strain all of the ingredients over a big bowl to collect the broth.
- Over medium-high heat return the broth to the low boil.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Put the pork, mortadella, pancetta, all the vegetables, and rosemary in a shallow baking pan.
- Add the tomato paste and mix to coat everything well.
- Add the water to the pan.
- Roast in the oven until everything is knife tender and browned.
- (For the vegetarian version roast the vegetables and meats in separate roasting dishes and mince only the vegetables in the food processor, add the egg, parmigiano and nutmeg to stuff the vegetarian tortellini.)
- When the roasted pork and vegetables have cooled put everything in a food processor bowl and pulse until everything is minced well.
- Put the mixture in a bowl, add the egg, nutmeg and parmigiano and mix well.
- Use the recipe for ravioli on gianni.tv. Watch me make it at http://www.gianni.tv/fresh-pasta-ricotta-ravioli-in-a-san-marzano-sauce/
- Lay out a long fresh pasta sheet.
- Cut the sheet in 3-inch squares.
- Wet the edges of each square with water. (I use dip my thumb in a bowl of water.)
- Add ½ teaspoon of the filling near a tip of square.
- Fold over the other half of the square and pinch the seam to tightly close it.
- Wrap the tortellini around your finger, pull the 2 ends together and squeeze the ends together.
- Put the tortellini on a floured kitchen towel. Make sure they don’t touch or they’ll stick together.
- When the broth is at a low boil add the tortellini and stir them so they don’t stick. (The tortellini are delicate so you don’t want a rapid boil.)
- When the tortellini raise to the surface let them roll in the boil for about a minute and they should be al dente and ready to come out. (Eat one if you’re not sure they’re done.)
- Serve immediately with grated parmigiano for your guests to sprinkle on top of each bowl.