I wonder if there is a single kitchen in Italy that has not known the use of il dado, the bouillon cube. It is not—or should not be—employed to make quick broth for those dishes where the broth itself is a substantial component, as for example, tortellini in brodo, tortellini served in broth. The cube, in small quantity, gives a useful flavor boost to plain water that evaporates while something is cooked in it. Admittedly, good meat broth should be your first choice, but a tiny dose of the cube helps water pretend it’s broth for a just a little while, and when it has vanished, the taste of the soup or risotto is a bit more rounded out for it.
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