Tortellini in Brodo is why simple food made well crosses that line into becoming truly sublime. I had my first run in with this delicious recipe in Bologna, Italy where it is a regional speciality. The dish is hand-made tortellini in a broth, typically chicken. The broth is velvety, warming and adds a salty quality to the perfect little pasta bites. It is both soup and pasta and neither at the same time. Now, while it may sound simple and maybe unimpressive in presentation what makes tortellini so incredible is who makes them. Imagine a pasta that has been made since the 17th century, recipes have been handed down, and this little gem has become a sense of pride for the region.
Local legend has it that tortellini was created in Emilia. One night, a beautiful woman was traveling through the small town and decided to check into an inn. The host became so captivated by her beauty that he could not resist the urge to peek through the keyhole that night. The bedroom was barely lit by candles and all he could see was the hint of her navel. This pure and innocent vision was enough to send him the inspiration to create the tortellini that night.
Whether or not this is true, torteillini has captured the hearts of many. In this recipe I made an artichoke brodo. Simply because the artichokes at the market right now are gorgeous! It also has leeks and fennel in the broth and sauteed in the pan to add some different textures. Hope you enjoy!
Tortellini in Artichoke Brodo:
1/2 small fennel
sprig of rosemary
sprig of thyme
salt and pepper
cheese to garnish
Trim the artichokes by removing the bottom so they can sit flat and to trim the top. Place the artichokes in a large pot and fill with water until the line hits three quarters of way up the artichoke. Add rosemary, thyme and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes or until artichokes are soft. Remove the artichokes and let cool. Remove the hearts and set aside.
Julienne the fennel and slice the leek. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Saute the fennel and leek until the fennel starts to carmelize . Chop the artichoke hearts and add to the fennel mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the artichoke broth to a boil. Add tortellini. Once cooked place in a bowl, add enough liquid to cover, top with the fennel mixture and grate cheese on top! Enjoy!