I always have to satisfy a variety of diets at my table. A recent lunch gathering was no exception – vegetarians amongst the meat eaters! But, I had a strategy…
My method for vegetable sides, sauces or soups is to start with the universal base.
In the video I explain how to stage the cooking so that you end up with a vegetarian version of tortellini in brodo, and a roasted meat and vegetable stuffed tortellini in a chicken brodo, too.
It’s a traditional dish from Emilia-Romagna, the region of Italy around Bologna, called the “culinary heart” of Italia.
They’re famous for stuffed pasta among many other culinary wonders – mortadella (the original bologna), parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto and balsamic among them.
The tortellini’s rich roasted meat and vegetable stuffing is enrobed in a silky yet toothsome pasta skin. Scoop one up in your spoon filled with the delicate deep-flavored chicken broth and you’ll be in heaven.
(Watch me make the pasta dough in my fresh ravioli video episode.)
Put a big pot over medium-high heat.
Add the olive oil.
When the oil begins to ripple add the onion, carrot, and celery.
Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent. (You don't want the vegetables to pick up any color.)
Add the water and bring the pot to a gentle boil.
(For the vegetarian version let the vegetable broth cook for about 20 minutes and set some aside before adding the chicken.)
Add the chicken and cook until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
Strain all of the ingredients over a big bowl to collect the broth.
Over medium-high heat return the broth to the low boil.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the pork, mortadella, pancetta, all the vegetables, and rosemary in a shallow baking pan.
Add the tomato paste and mix to coat everything well.
Add the water to the pan.
Roast in the oven until everything is knife tender and browned.
(For the vegetarian version roast the vegetables and meats in separate roasting dishes and mince only the vegetables in the food processor, add the egg, parmigiano and nutmeg to stuff the vegetarian tortellini.)
When the roasted pork and vegetables have cooled put everything in a food processor bowl and pulse until everything is minced well.
Put the mixture in a bowl, add the egg, nutmeg and parmigiano and mix well.
Use the recipe for ravioli on gianni.tv. Watch me make it at http://www.gianni.tv/fresh-pasta-ricotta-ravioli-in-a-san-marzano-sauce/
Making the torellini
Lay out a long fresh pasta sheet.
Cut the sheet in 3-inch squares.
Wet the edges of each square with water. (I use dip my thumb in a bowl of water.)
Add ½ teaspoon of the filling near a tip of square.
Fold over the other half of the square and pinch the seam to tightly close it.
Wrap the tortellini around your finger, pull the 2 ends together and squeeze the ends together.
Put the tortellini on a floured kitchen towel. Make sure they don't touch or they'll stick together.
When the broth is at a low boil add the tortellini and stir them so they don't stick. (The tortellini are delicate so you don't want a rapid boil.)
When the tortellini raise to the surface let them roll in the boil for about a minute and they should be al dente and ready to come out. (Eat one if you're not sure they're done.)
Serve immediately with grated parmigiano for your guests to sprinkle on top of each bowl.
I’m just back from Christmas in the redwood forests overlooking the Pacific on the northern Sonoma coast a few hours north of San Francisco.
Our Christmas dinner on top of the ridge included roast turkey and baked ham.
When I got ready to head back to San Francisco my hosts insisted I take leftovers with me, including a big hunk of ham. I got inspired to make this hearty soup today.
Whether you have a big piece of ham sitting in your fridge or not you can make this sumptuous “lucky” soup for your New Year’s table too. The beans represent the abundant good fortune that is in store for you in the new year.
Salty ham, creamy beans and silky sweet cabbage all in one bite, simple comfort food from heaven.
Add a glass of prosecco and a hunk of crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a wholesome light meal ready in less than an hour.
If you we’re overserved New Year’s Eve, this is the best remedy to settle your queasy stomach. The soup is even better the next day.
There’s been a chill in the air so I decided to make my first soup of the fall season.
Minestrone was at the top of my list. It’s easy to make, delicious and good for you.
The most difficult part of this recipe is chopping the vegetables. Otherwise, you just let the minestrone simmer away for an hour and a half, stirring from time to time.
The flavorful kale is a perfect companion for the tender meaty borlotti beans surrounded by bits of cabbage, potatoes and zucchini floating in the full-bodied vegetable broth. If you get lucky you may get a piece of nutty pancetta in your next spoonful.
Slice some crusty bread and you’re ready for a hearty lunch or serve minestrone as a substantial first course for your next dinner on a chilly eve.
Leave out the pancetta for a vegetarian version. Either way minestrone is even better the next day so make sure you have some leftover.