Monday, 27 July 2015

Tortellini en brodo Sinatra (my way)


"tortellini, small pasta shapes stuffed with minced (ground) chicken, pork,prosciutto,mortadella,parmesan  
and all the other usual flavourings such as nutmeg".

Although tortellini are always to be had in restaurants,the homemade version is for festive occasions and, in particular, a dish for Christmas Eve only. The reason being their confection is a rather tricky job and entails hours of dedicated hard graft requiring some practice.From my own point of view I love them but I feel life is too short to curl a bit of stuffed pasta dough round my pinkie. I would rather leave that task to an accomplished commis chef.From time to time I have a commercially packed version in the fridge for a midweek supper and on my last visit to the supemercado I found a particularly good quality brand that was on offer." en brodo" is my favoured way of eating Tortellini and last night I thought that having been saved the bother of making my own version of these little "navel shaped" parcels I would try my hand at putting all my energies into making a "brodo" that would do justice to my pre-packed pasta. I remembered seeing two containers of home made chicken stock in one of the freezer drawers.( Sometimes lurking freezer gremlins can earn their keep and come in handy just at the right time) I trolled tinternet for an authentic recipe but whose would I use,influenced by the fact that I already had the core stock?
Many cooks and chefs receive their first culinary experience from their mother,as was my case.I settled on making my own version of how chef Emeril Lagasse whose Portuguese mother Hilda gave him his first experience,working in a Portuguese bakery, where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking.
Tortellini en Brodo Sinatra (my way)
It was like the old trick of trying to palm off a Marks and Spencer´s ready meal as your own.Emeril´s version of brodo retained all the constituents of the stock without straining them.My version was to be a clearer version ( the more traditional way).Slightly cloudy it may have been but delicious it turned out to be.Thank you Emeril for the starting point.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 4 cups (1 litre) home made chicken broth
  • 1 packet (250g) fresh artesan tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Salt, to taste if necessary
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the olive oil and, when hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic, basil, and crushed red pepper and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain the stock through a conical sieve and then again through a sieve lined with muslin
return to the pan and cool.Skim the service for any fat or scum and reheat
Add the tortellini and cook for 5 minutes if using fresh; 15 minutes if using dried. The pasta should be al dente
Stir in the parsley, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and ladle into soup bowls.
Garnish each bowl with one tablespoon of the cheese. Serve immediately.

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