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Tortellini en brodo

Yearning for Bologna! A classic dish of Bologna located in the Emilia Romagna area. Recipes in brood, or broth are typically eaten during the cooler months, fall through winter. While I was in Parma a month ago it was still too warm to make the dish. That doesn't mean they don't serve it everyday all year round in restaurants. The reason it is served in colder temperatures is because the brood is very warming. Made from a mix of beef and chicken their is stronger flavor to the broth of rich meat, yet it still very light. The color of the broth is a bit stronger than just a chicken broth. The flavors are light yet bold. I know that sounds like it doesn't make sense, but flavors in Italy are light and bold all of the same time. I would like to describe them as pure. The tortellini is cooked al dente and can be filled with the classic mixture of veal, beef, and pork, or just with cheese. Since the brodo/broth is so hot the tortellini are added to the brood and continue to cook up until eating. That is why it is so important to not over cook pasta. Remove it from the boiling water al dente and allow it to continue to cook in the sauce/ brood. 

Tortellini Recipe:

Ingredients: 

For the Pasta:

3 large eggs - room temperature 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting 

1/2 cup semolina flour 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

For the filling:

1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta 

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 

1 tablespoon sea salt 

1/2 tablespoon crushed black pepper

Method: 

To make the pasta: 

Combine both the all purpose and semolina flour in a bowl. 

On a clean work surface make a mound of flour with a well in the middle. 

One at a time crack each egg into the well. Incorporate the flour into the egg without breaking the mound with a fork. 

It is like scrambling the egg and flour together. You are looking for the egg yolk to break and for it to change consistency. 

Continue with each egg. 

With the  last egg, add the olive oil and incorporate all the flour and eggs together. 

With your hands bring all the ingredients together. It will be sticky, but keeping working to knead the dough. 

If it is still sticky, add a tablespoon at a time of flour. 

Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. The consistency of the dough will change to a smooth surface and texture. 

The color you are looking for is a yellow/pale yellow. This is due to the egg yolks. The more yellow the yolks the more yellow the dough. 

Once the dough is completely smooth, gluten has set in, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile prepare the filling. 

In a bowl add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper with a spatula. 

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to fill the tortellini. 

To roll the pasta dough:

On a clean surface, dust it with flour. 

Cut the dough in half. With a rolling pin roll each half to a 1/2 inch - 1/4 inch thick. 

With a pasta rolling machine, roll each half of pasta. I like mine just slightly thick and only roll it to the 2nd to last setting.

Make sure to continually dust the sheets of pasta with flour. 

To assemble the tortellini:

Cut each pasta sheet in half. 

Cut 1 inch by 1 inch squares. 

Dollop 1/2 teaspoon of cheese filling. 

Lightly wet the edges of the square pasta with a damp finger. 

Line one edge with the edge across. Tightly seal the edges, making a triangle. 

It should be completely sealed. 

Gently wet the 2 long edges of the triangle and seal them together. This make a tortellini shape. 

Place on a floured platter. 

Continue until all the pasta is made into tortellinis. 

At this point it can be cooked or frozen. 

If freezing, place platter in freezer. Once the pasta is frozen, place the tortellini in a freezer bag and keeps for 1 month. 

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