Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tortellini in Brodo

While Chaney slept, I ventured the City streets early one morning in search of a food find. What unfolded in those early hours was a whole industry of artisan Tortellini makers, twirling their fingers and dancing their palms on behalf of Tortellini, one of Bologna’s most beloved “Tipici Piatti’s”. It felt like every other storefront consisted of this peaceful ritual. And so I invited myself in to witness the love.



The traditional Tortellini is filled with a combination of Pork Sausage, Parmesan and Mortadella (a local salumi which distinguishes most plates of this region from those both North and South). There are other varieties, half moon Ravioli’s, spinach Tagliettelle, but the Tortellini remains the lil treasure to write home about.

For our first meal in Bologna I had the “Tortellini in Brodo”, a dish revered locally for its perfection. But the dish I had (at a very reputable restaurant) confused me slightly. The Tortellini’s were barely cooked, indeed more “Al dente” than I have experienced any Pasta in Italy thus far. Was this 1) as intended 2) was the heat of the broth meant to cook them to perfection through the course of me eating the dish 3) was it a mistake 4) was it not to my taste? Regardless I understood their compact flavor and the broth’s conscious subtlety. But…


Now for the controversy! A trip back through my archives discloses a “Tortellini in Brodo” I had in Lecce, Puglia that my notebook describes as “a broth so perfect its light fat content floats only to shine as much for flavor as metaphor. The Tortellini’s complete the dish having just soaked in that perfect bath and they too glisten with this now shared love.” Big words, however drunk I might have been.

So I conclude that thus far, my favorite “Tortellini in Brodo” was actually in Lecce, not Bologna.

2 comments:

Margaret said...

PLEASE make us some fresh tortellini when you get back to NY - these look too good for words!!

Eric J said...

Dude, I know... being a vegetarian isn't easy in Europe anyway, and Bologna was one of the worst spots! The stuff sure did smell and look good though...