Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Tortellini in Brodo

Tortellini in Broth

This is a famous preparation often served during holidays. Tortellini can be enjoyed with meat sauce also, but in Italy, you will most often find them served in broth.

A big pot of simmering brodo is a common sight. The cook visits the brodo frequently, checking that the simmer is very gentle and never approaching a boil. A skimmer is nearby to lift any debris on the surface. And a spoon is handy to check the brodo while it simmers so that the cook is ready to add a bit of seasoning when it is needed.

Tortellini in broth recipe - F.jpg




Makes 6–8 Servings

  • 4 oz pork, chopped
  • 3 oz boneless chicken breast, chopped
  • 3 oz mortadella, chopped
  • 3 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (7 oz), plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg
  • Grated nutmeg, as needed
  • 1 1/2 lb Pasta Dough (recipe here)
  • 6 cups Brodo (recipe here)

Pasta Dough

Makes about 1 1/2 lb

  • 3 2⁄3 cups all-purpose or “00” flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Brodo (Broth)

Makes 1 1/2 gallons

  • One 3- to 4-lb chicken
  • 3 lb beef (top blade chuck or shank)
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 sachet containing 3 cloves, 8 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, and 3 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt, as needed



  1. If you are using uncooked pork and chicken, sauté them in butter until they are golden on all sides and have cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes total. Let the meat cool before you grind it.
  2. To make the filling, set up a meat grinder with a bowl to catch the meat as you grind it. Drop the pieces of meat through the opening of the meat grinder while it is running. Grind the mortadella and the prosciutto with the cooked meats.
  3. Add the cheese, egg, and nutmeg to the ground meats. Stir to blend evenly.
  4. Roll the pasta dough into thin sheets and cut it into 2-inch-diameter circles or 2-inch squares. Place a small amount of the filling (about 1 teaspoon) on each dough piece. Fold them in half and press the edges together to seal the tortellini. Finish shaping them by folding the two tips around your index finger and pressing the tips well to seal them together.
  5. Bring the brodo to a simmer in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the tortellini and cook until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the soup immediately in heated soup plates or bowls. Pass additional grated cheese on the side.

Pasta Dough

  1. Mound the flour on a clean surface or put it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Create a well in the center and place the eggs and oil in the center. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and slowly start dragging the flour into the egg mixture.
  3. Knead well by hand or with the mixer until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough seems smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes if working by hand, about 5 minutes in a mixer with a dough hook).
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a covered bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Broth (Brodo)

  1. Pull out any pockets of fat from the chicken and rinse well. Trim the beef of any visible fat. Put the chicken and beef in a large pot and add enough cold water to completely cover the meats.
  2. Put the pot over medium heat, cover, and bring the water to a simmer. As soon as it comes to a simmer, remove the lid and start skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
  3. Partially cover the pot by setting the lid slightly ajar to leave an opening; that way, the pot won’t be as likely to boil over and you can keep an eye on it more easily. Bring it back to a simmer and cook, periodically skimming the foam that rises to the surface, for about 2 hours. Add the sachet to the pot and cook for 30 minutes longer. Remove the meats from the broth, letting any broth inside the chicken drain back into the pot. Reserve the meat to use in other dishes. At this point, the broth should have a rich, deep flavor. If not, remove the sachet, but continue to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes longer. Add salt to taste.
  4. Strain the broth through a wire-mesh sieve directly into a pot if you are planning to serve the broth right away. If you plan to serve the broth another day, cool the broth and refrigerate in a covered container.

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