Tortellini en Brodo

by katerina on November 1, 2012

Besides falling in love with the fried artichokes in Roma, my favorite food memory from our recent trip to Italy was all the wonderful comfort food in Bologna – including tortellini en brodo.

Tortellini in Broth

Traditionally, tortellini en brodo is a fresh pasta stuffed with veal, proscuitto, mortadella and cheese floating in a capon broth. Since good mortadella and veal — not to mention capon(a castrated rooster) — are hard to find, this version uses chicken instead of veal and a chicken broth but is remarkably similar.

Homemade Tortellini

Unfortunately, just because it is simple, doesn’t mean it is easy to make. Recruit a few helpers as good company will make the pasta shaping go faster, plus practice makes perfect! The tortellini and broth both freeze well so make double batch and save it for a rainy day. Also, do use homemade broth for this, store bought will not give you that authentic made-with-love Italian flavour.

Print Recipe

Tortellini en Brodo

(~4 dozen tortellini (about 4-6 servings))

1 teaspoon olive oil
200g chicken breast (1 large breast)
25g proscuitto, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmaggianno Reggiano
3 eggs
2 cups "00" flour (*)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4L chicken stock
plus more Parmaggianno cheese and pepper for garnish

Heat the olive oil to medium in a small skillet. Slice the chicken breast thinly and add to the olive oil. Saute chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool combine in a food processor with proscuitto, egg yolk, ricotta and parmesan. Pulse until chopped very fine but not completely pureed. Taste and season. Refrigerate and allow to sit for at least an hour or over night.

Now make the pasta. Whisk together the eggs and slowly incorporate in the salt and flour until you have a shaggy dough, transfer to a board and knead to bring together. Place the olive oil on the board and knead it into the dough. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to allow to relax. At least an hour. Before rolling out allow to come to room temperature for 10 minutes.

Roll out using a pasta maker (quite thin). Cut int 1 1/2" squares and make each tortellini with about 1/2 teaspoon of filling. Place the filling in the centre of the square. Gently brush the edges of the square with a bit of water. Fold into a triangle, pressing together the edges and remove any ar. Bring the two bott edges of the triangle together around a finger and squeeze to join. Place formed tortellini on a parchment lined cooke sheet while you make the rest. (Check out youtube for great tutorials on this.)

Bring your broth to a simmer. Taste it and add salt and pepper to season it generously. Bring to a simmer and cook the tortellini in the broth. Check for doneness - about 5-7 minutes. Serve a generous amount of noodles and broth in each bowl with more Parmaggianno cheese and pepper on the side to garnish.

(*) "00" or "Double Zero" flour can be found at gourmet food stores and italian grocers. If you can't find it either substitute half pastry flour and half all-purpose, or all all-purpose flour. It will be good either way ;)

Prep Time: 90 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Total Time:105 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 350

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Denis Ko November 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Could you recommend a weights and measure conversion table site I could use? I live in California, USA.
I’ve tried a couple of your recipes and have totally enjoyed each one.
Thanks for your time.


katerina November 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hi Dennis I don’t have an actual site I can recommend.

But… 1lb =454g. I usually use weights on things that I typically purchase and measure based on packaging (as I am canadian it is measured in metric). The challenge with a general tool is that if you are converting to volumetric measurements (i.e. cups, tablespoons etc) that it really depends on what you are measuring. So just be careful with whichever site you use. For this recipe try using about 1/4 cup of finely diced thinly sliced prosciutto ;)

Also, if you are into baking a kitchen scale is a really good investment as you will find that your bread is far more successful and consistent if you measure ingredients by weight ;)


Cindy November 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’ve never heard of “OO” flour, can you please elaborate?


katerina November 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Great point, I will update above. “OO” or “Double Zero” flour can be found at gourmet food stores and italian grocers. If you can’t find it either substitute half pastry flour and half all purpose, or all all purpose flour. It will be good either way ;)


Alicia November 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I haven’t seen a capon since I was a child. My Grandmother owned a farm and my Uncle used to raise capons. They would get so big we would have a capon for Thanksgiving dinner instead of a turkey. Tasted better too because we knew where it came from.


katerina November 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Cool! I have never seen one… (to my knowledge)


Julia | December 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Love soups with pasta! This soup looks lovely!


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