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Friday, December 14, 2012

Tortellini in Brodo

I love to cook and the best days are those when I have hours to spend in the kitchen, trying new things and listening to music.   They say that living in the present moment is the way to find true happiness and if I am cooking, I can usually get there.   I think this is why so many people love to cook.  You have to be present and focused on what is happening; the smells, the colours, the sounds and finally the coming together of the end result.  A meal does not have to be complicated or expensive to be good.  But, I do think that it must be made with attention and love (of the people you are serving it to, of food, of simple pleasures, etc.) and this will invariably come through in the end.

This soup is quite simple to prepare, but I have great love of the ingredients used.  I have made homemade tortellini and know how much time and detail goes into preparing the pasta and the filling and then shaping each piece.   I had the chance to take a cooking class in Tuscany with some wonderful Italian women (who did not speak English) and their expertise combined with the  pride and joy that they shared when making these dishes was amazing.  Preparing any pasta always takes me back there.   

Some chicken stock, good fresh or frozen tortellini (whatever flavour you like), vegetables of your choice, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil and you are ready to go.  Serve it with some crusty bread and this makes a wonderful light dinner/lunch or appetizer.  

Note:  take a look at homemade tortellini at Italianchef.com if you would like to try your hand at making your own.

You will need:  for 4 servings 

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) of olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, sliced in disks
  • 3 large mushroom, cleaned and sliced
  • 5 cups (1.2l) of good chicken stock
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen tortellini
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil (1tbsp - 15ml) over medium heat in a large pot;
  2. Sauté the onion for about 2 minutes (no color);
  3. Add the sliced carrot (1 small) and sliced mushrooms (3 large) and sauté for about 5 minutes;
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a light boil;
  5. Add the tortellini (2 cups), return to a light boil and allow to cook until al dente;
  6. Season;
  7. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil.

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