When I went to Bologna it was just a quick stop on my way to Cinque Terre. We planned our train rides so that we would have several hours to wander around Bologna, which is one of the most well known cities in Emilia-Romagna, between trains. Aside from walking around the enormous marketplace and exploring the enormous cathedrals and other landmarks, we made sure that we had time to have lunch in the city. We had read, and heard, that while in Bologna we had to eat tortellini, one of the foods that the area is most well known for. Tortellini, of course, being a delicious egg pasta shaped in a little circle and stuffed with different things (generally cheese or spinach). So, we found a little restaurant, and I ordered tortellini in broth, or Tortellini in Brodo. This dish is a delicious mix between soup and pasta, making it the perfect first course (or light lunch). It was also the perfect thing for my to cook for my husband and I last night since I am still on the tail end of being sick, and I seem to have passed it on to Ryan, as well. (Sorry, love!)
This dish is as hard as you make it. You can make your own tortellini and broth, or you can buy tortellini (like I did, since I don't have a pasta machine) and even buy the broth if you want. However, I'll give you the recipe that I use for vegetable stock. You can also use chicken or beef stock if you would rather.
In front of the Scala della Montagnola in Bologna.
Looking down at the ruins from the top of the Scala della Montagnola in Bologna
Tortellini in Brodo
-Serves 4 as a first course, 2 as a main course-
2 quarts vegetable, chicken, or beef broth (recipe below)
8 ounces tortellini of your choosing
Freshly grated parigiano reggiano
- Bring the 2 quarts of broth to a boil. Add in the tortellini and cook as directed (about 8-10 minutes).
- Serve into bowls and top with a little freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.
2 quarts water
1 celery stalks
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
3-4 garlic cloves (smashed, but left whole and with peels on)
1 parsley sprig
1 thyme sprig
- Put the water in a large stockpot. Add in the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley and thyme, along with any other vegetables or herbs that you desire such as leeks, turnips, etc. Other than the notes made above, I generally leave the vegetables whole unless they cannot fit in my pot.
- Bring the water up to a boil. Reduce heat and let the stock simmer for at least an hour.
- Remove the vegetables and herbs and strain the broth to remove any remnants.
If making your own broth, you could also make chicken or beef broth by adding in the bones and scraps from whatever meat-wielding animal you like. Also, keep in mind that broth freezes very well, so you can easily make extra and keep it on hand for your next recipe!
Ryan's rating of Tortellini in Broth - 4