This traditional Christmas soup of handmade pasta and a rich capon broth is typically eaten just once a year, so you need to get it right. Its preparation is an exercise in old-world patience, the perfect antidote to too many hours spent on twitter. Simonetta does have one labour saving trick up her sleeve; the meat used to make the broth goes on to star in the second piatto.
Ingredients for the broth (for 4 people)
Capon thigh – 500g/17.5oz
Turkey breast – 300g/10.5oz
Tender beef – 400g/14oz
Celery stick – 1
Carrots – 3
Onion – 1
Salt – pinch
Roughly chop the vegetables and then soak them with the meat in cold water. Bring to the boil, add salt and then leave to simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the broth has concentrated a bit.
Ingredients for the tortellini filling
Lean veal – 150g/5.2oz
Turkey breast – 100g/3.5oz
Lean pork – 100g/3.5oz
Prosciutto crudo – 50g/1.7oz
Mortadella – 50g/1.7oz
Parmesan cheese – 50g grated/1.7oz
Eggs – 2
Sausage – 1/50g/1.7oz
Salt – a pinch
Nutmeg – a pinch
Mince all the meats together, then add the eggs, the grated cheese, nutmeg and salt. Mix together well until you have a solid paste.
Ingredients for the Tortellini pasta
Eggs – 3
OO flour – 300g/10.5oz
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – pinch
If you take the easy route and use a food processor just add everything in together and mix until the dough is stiff. If you are more hard-core and make the pasta by hand, build yourself a little volcano of flour and break the eggs into the middle. Add the oil and salt and work together with a fork until you get a solid ball. Wrap the pasta ball in cellophane and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Take it out and halve it. Work the first half through the pasta machine, gradually working down the thickness levels one at a time until you reach the lowest numbers. With the resulting piece, square off the top and bottom and cut into 5cm squares. Repeat with the other half of the pasta.
Place a tablespoon of the filling (like a little ball) on each square, fold to form a triangle and seal by squeezing the edges. Fold a corner under the tortellino and shape the tortellino around your finger to form a ring. Carry on until all the pasta and filling is used up.
Place the tortellini on baking paper on a tray (you can also freeze them at this point if you wish), and cover with cling film or a tablecloth.
Pour the broth through a sieve to make a clear liquid brodo. Cook the tortellini in this for a couple of minutes and serve in a bowl with a drizzle of oil.