Tortellini in Brodo

Tortellini in Broth


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This traditional dish is served on Christmas Eve, often after midnight Mass in many households of northern Italy. It is normal practice in Italy to ask people whether they prefer their tortellini with more or less brodo and to serve it accordingly.


  • 350 g/12 oz/3 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 350 g/12 oz/2 cups fine semolina
  • 7 eggs, beaten
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

For the Brodo

  • 1 large boiling fowl or capon
  • 3 carrots, trimmed
  • 3 onions, halved
  • 2 celery sticks, halved
  • 2 tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cabbage leaves
  • 25 g/1 oz parsley
  • 4 litres/7 pints/17 cups cold water sea salt

For the Filling

  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 100 g/ oz pork loin, cubed
  • 50 g/2 oz turkey breast, cubed
  • 100 g/ oz mortadella, in one piece
  • 115 g/4 oz prosciutto crudo, in one piece (preferably prosciutto di Parma)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 175 g/6 oz/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • large pinch of grated nutmeg
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. To make the brodo, put the bird in a large pan with the vegetables, parsley, cold water and a little salt. Bring to the boil slowly and leave to simmer gently for about 2 hours. Leave to cool in the pan.
  2. Remove the bird and reserve for another meal (see Cook’s Tip). Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or strainer. Leave to stand, then remove any fat that forms on the surface and strain again. You will need 3 litres/5 pints/12½ cups.
  3. To make the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan, add the the pork and turkey, and fry for 10 minutes, until cooked through. Mince the meat three times using a hand mincer, or process once in a food processor, together with the mortadella and prosciutto. Stir in the 2 eggs, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and seasoning. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

  4. Pile the flour and semolina on a work surface and make a hollow in the middle using your fist. Pour in the 7 beaten eggs. Using your fingers, mix the eggs roughly into the flour, then use both hands to knead everything together until you have a smooth, pliable ball of dough. Rest the dough under a clean cloth or wrap in clear film or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the pasta very thinly using a pasta machine or rolling pin. Lay the sheet of pasta carefully on to a very lightly floured surface. You must work quickly to prevent it drying out.

  6. Cut the dough into circles using a 4 cm/ in pastry or cookie cutter. Put 1.5 ml/¼ tsp of filling in the middle. Fold in half and hold between your middle and index finger. Wrap the two extremities around the tip of your index finger.

  7. Push the filled pasta pocket off your finger and turn it half inside out so that it looks like a little belly button. Press the ends together.

  8. Bring the brodo to a very gentle boil and add the tortellini. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until the tortellini are cooked and float, then remove from the heat. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.