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Italian Recipes: Tortellini al Brodo (tortellini in broth)

A bowl of Tortellini pasta in broth with nutmeg, parmesan cheese and a glass of red wineTortellini originates from Bologna and one of the best (and common) ways to eat it is in broth (Tortellini al Brodo).

I have just returned from Bologna, Italy and I have learnt the true meaning of fresh pasta.  Like many, I have loved all kinds of pasta since a very young age, but there is such a big difference between pasta and fresh, quality pasta, like what they serve in Bologna.

This dish, sounds very simple, however it can take a whole weekend to prepare, if you want to do everything from scratch.  First you need to make the stock and then the fresh pasta.

I did eat this dish a few times while in Bologna and everyone had their own version.  I’ve searched online, and again, so many different recipes.  So I’ll try to recreate what I can.

My first attempt, I decided to buy fresh tortellini from an Italian deli and make a chicken stock – purely because I had roasted a chicken and had the ingredients.  I do believe that generally the stock for this dish is usually beef / veal based, however this tasted pretty good and I’m quite happy with this to begin with.

Serves: 4 (light meal)


  • chicken carcass
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 thyme twigs (or a good pinch dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250 gr tortellini
  • nutmeg
  • parmesan cheese


I made this stock the day before, as it takes a few hours.

In your largest pot, add all ingredients, excluding the tortellini, nutmeg and parmesan.

Bring to the boil and then cover loosely and simmer for 2-3 hours.  Every so often, scoop the fat that’s floating on the top.

Strain the stock and discard all chicken and vegetables.

Reheat the stock to boiling point and add the tortellini cook at a rolling boil for a few minutes until the tortellini is al dente.

Serve the Tortellini al brodo in large bowls and grate over some nutmeg and parmesan cheese.  So simple, yet so satisfying!





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