Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Aromatic Beef Broth for Tortellini

Tortellini are perhaps the most famous Italian dish and by now, along with other small Italian dumplings, can be found almost anywhere in the world. According to the tradition, their odd and specific shape is inspired on Venus’ belly button – a lush, inviting sight that pairs nicely with a delicious stuffing of sirloin steak, ham, mortadella, Parmesan cheese, eggs and nutmeg.

The proper way to taste Tortellini is by drowning them in a rich, hearty broth made from scratch. Now that you have some handmade Tortellini from that fresh pasta corner shop, it’s time to cook a scrummy beef broth!

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Beef meat: 300 g
  • Tortellini, fresh: 160 g
  • Tomatoes, medium-sized: 2
  • Potatoes, medium-sized: 1 (optional)
  • Onions: 1
  • Carrots: 1
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 1 tbsp
  • Cloves: 2 tsps
  • Parmesan, grated: to taste
  • Parmesan crusts (optional)
  • Parsley, fresh: to taste
  • Rock salt: to taste


Remove most of the skirt steak’s fat to avoid making the broth too heavy; leave instead the steak’s bone to give the broth a richer taste.

Peel the carrot and clean the onion. Rinse the tomatoes and cut them in half. Put the vegetables in a pot along with the oil, the cloves, the steak and a pinch of rock salt. Pour in 1,5l of water and simmer for at least 1 hour and half on low-medium heat.

When the broth starts boiling, use a skimmer to remove the meat and its fats and the vegetables. Pour in it the Tortellini, which will be cooked through as soon as they come up to the water’s surface.

Serve the Tortellini with plenty of broth and sprinkle some Parmigiano on top.

You can store beef broth at most for three days in the fridge.

Tip: the Parmesan crusts, do not thrown them away! They makes the broth even richer. Rinse under running water, then scrape the outer part with a grater or a serrated knife so as to permanently remove the writing printed on the crust and add them to the broth. It will give that extra twist, assured.
They do not melt completely, they soften and it will be a pleasure to eat them.
Do you know that cheese rinds can also be added to tomato sauce? The result is always satisfactory.

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