This comforting dish of stuffed pasta in a hearty broth is a tradition in northern Italy. It’s often served as a first course, followed by a pork or veal roast and winter vegetables. Both the tortellini and the broth can be made ahead.
– FOR THE BROTH:.
– 1 4-lb. chicken, cut into 6 pieces.
– 2 lb. veal bones or veal shank.
– 2 lb. beef stew meat or scraps.
– 1 medium yellow onion, quartered.
– 2 medium carrots, cut into large pieces.
– 2 ribs celery, cut into large pieces.
– 1 3-inch-square Parmigiano- Reggiano or Grana Padano rind (optional).
– Kosher salt.
– FOR THE FILLING:.
– 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter.
– 5 oz. boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup).
– 1/2 cup dry white wine.
– 3 oz. sliced Prosciutto di Parma, coarsely chopped (2/3 cup).
– 3 oz. sliced mortadella, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup).
– 1 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano (1/2 cup grated on the small holes of a box grater).
– 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg.
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten.
– Kosher salt.
– FOR THE PASTA DOUGH:.
– 101/2 oz. (2 1/3 cups) unbleached.
– all-purpose flour; more as needed.
– 4 large eggs.
– FOR SERVING: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano.
Step 2: Make the filling: Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until lightly golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high, pour in the wine, and stir until it is almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer the pork and its juices to a food processor. Add the prosciutto and mortadella and pulse until the mixture is very finely chopped (but not puréed). Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and add the Parmigiano, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Mix well. (The filling should be moist and just a little sticky.) Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Step 3: Make the pasta dough: On a large wooden board or other work surface, shape the flour into a mound. Using your fingers, make a round well in the center of the flour. Carefully crack the eggs into the well, making sure they don’t escape the walls of the well. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Begin to incorporate flour into the eggs with the fork, starting from the inner rim of the well, until about half of the flour is incorporated and a soft dough begins to form. With a dough scraper, push all of the remaining flour to one side of the board. Scrape off and discard the bits and pieces of dough attached to the board. Wash and dry your hands. Begin adding some of the flour you have pushed aside into the soft dough, kneading it gently with the heels of your hands as you incorporate the additional flour and the dough becomes firmer. Keep the board clean and dust it with flour as you knead to prevent the dough from sticking. After kneading for 8 to 10 minutes, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and just a little sticky. Press one finger into the center of the dough; if it comes out barely moist, the dough is ready to be rolled out. If the dough is still quite sticky, add a little more flour and knead it for another 2 to 3 minutes until soft and pliable. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 4: Roll the pasta: Unwrap the dough and knead it for a minute or two. Set the rollers of a pasta machine at their widest. Cut off a piece of dough about the size of a small lemon and flatten it with the palm of your hand to about 1/2 inch thick. As you work, keep the rest of the dough wrapped in plastic. Dust the piece of dough lightly with flour and run it through the machine. Fold the rolled dough in half and run it through the machine again, pressing it with your fingertips into the rollers. Repeat this step four or five times, dusting the dough with flour if it becomes sticky, until smooth and elastic. Change the rollers to the next setting down and roll out the dough without folding. Repeat rolling the sheet of dough (without folding) through the pasta machine, decreasing the settings until the pasta is 1/8 inch thick. On a floured wooden board, cut the dough into 11/2-inch squares. Keep the squares covered with plastic as you shape the tortellini.
Step 5: Shape the tortellini: Put about 1/8 tsp. of the filling in the center of a pasta square. Bring one corner over the filling toward the corner diagonally opposite and fold into a triangle. Press around the filling to seal. Bend the tortellino around your finger with one corner slightly overlapping the other and press to seal. The tortellino will look like a crown. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel. Arrange the tortellini in a single layer without letting them touch (you’ll need 2 to 3 baking sheets) and cover with another clean towel. Repeat the filling and shaping with the remaining pasta and filling.
Step 6: Cook and serve: You can make as many or as few servings as you like. For each serving, you’ll need 11/2 cups of broth and 14 tortellini. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Gently drop the tortellini into the pot. Cook until they rise to the surface and are tender but still firm to the bite, 2 to 3 minutes for fresh, 4 to 5 minutes for frozen. Remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the tortellini and broth into serving bowls, sprinkle with grated cheese, and serve immediately.