Tortellini In Brodo & Minestrone – A Special For Mr Smith!!!

Have you ever seen that advert on television where the wonky removal van is weaving its’ way down the road and unbeknown to the driver he is losing bits of furniture off the back of his truck? Well, during the move some of my pictures got lost into the blogesphere and I am reposting the best of these posts, met photo’s. I don’t wish to flood the page with posts but will be adding a few more than usual. Please indulge me as I am only doing the special ones. Thank you for your patience and please dial star – hash – 0800 – lost blog posts should you wish to consult with management.

This is another of my – two for the “price and time” of one dishes. Max is training for rugby and refuses to eat any carbs at the moment. He is also “allergic” (yeah right) to most vegeatables. Dear bloggers, I really do have Cain and Abel when it comes to food and their appreciation of it with my children.. Daniele at the age of 2 was extolling the virtues of gorgonzola cheese, waxing lyrical about my pasta dishes and already asking for repeats on certain dishes from my kitchen. Max, on the other hand must have been dropped by a mocking bird, a ha-de-daa or something similar…. he is a cullinary philistine, in fact, Riccardo has a nickname for Maxi – it’s Mr Smith!!!!!

Mr Smith doesn’t drink espresso coffee – he likes, WAIT FOR IT, sins of all Italian Sins, the embarrasement of the Tripepi family and all future generations of Tripepis – Mr Smith LIKES spaghetti in a tin!#!###@@@ I happily spend hours creating the perfect sauce or jus from those caramelised pan juices. Heston Blumenthal would be sooooo proud of me and at times I can hear dearly departed Keith Floyds angelic wings flapping above my pans as i “Wack in some butter to thicken a sauce” On one occasion Mr Smith asked me to make NICE gravy like the gravy the friends mums’ serve with their roasts – BISTO I TELL YOU – BISTO….. Don’t even START me on the tomato sauce thing …… that sends me into the next dimension. Not too long ago – i prepared fresh Dorado with a Parma Ham and herb crust – HE DROWNED IT IN TOMATO SAUCE …. My poor husband foams at the mouth ….

Mr Smith presents me with quite a few cullinary conundrums ……… One of my “I’ll sort YOU out you little S***t – is to make minestrone. So every Monday – i use up all of the left over veggies to make a pot of minestrone – Which Mr Smith loves!!!! Can you ever – bung every veg under the sun into a pot with some chicken pieces …… and bob’s your aunty Mr Smith loves it!!!! He loves said minestrone even more – if it’s liquidised and served with a spoon of basil pesto!!! Well, maybe there is hope yet.

I make a huge pot of soup – that Mr Smith munches through over the next week. However, last week I took the opportunity to creat the broth for a favourite of mine. I am not much of a ravioli, panzerotii eater – filled pasta very rarely finds it’s way to my table – BUT – i absolutely love Tortellin in Brodo whish is simply tortellini in broth – but the broth must be authenticly and deeply flavoured with the essence of fresh veggies. It needs to be the sort of broth that u just can’t really get enough of …. so i piggy backed on Mr Smiths minestrone request to create my broth ……….. hehehe ……


Serve piping hot with a good table spoon of grated Parmesan cheese.


olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of your pot.

3 onions finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

baby carrots or carrots


green beans




red and yellow peppers

slice some baby marrows – zucchini

thinly sliced cabbage

throw in a handful of frozen peas or corn

add whole baby spinach and a good handful of basil whole

2 cups of dry white wine

plenty – 3L or more dependant on the size of your pot – of chicken stock

pepper to taste

To give the minestrone a great big kick in the backside in terms of flavour – us add a large

packet of skinned chicken thighs.

All the veggies should be fresh – other than the frozen peas, and if you have some fresh peas – throw them in You could add some broccoli, Minestrone is not restricted to certain veggies, use what you have, the more the better – you want a deep rich flavour in your soup/ broth which can only be achieved by using many different veggies.


In a large pot – heat some olive oil and brown the chicken thighs, onion and garlic

Brown the onion, garlic and chicken thighs

add 2 cups of dry white wine and cook out all of the alcohol

add all of the other vegetables and herbs top up the pot with chicken stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour.

Bring the pot to the boil and then simmer for an hour.

Every now and then – skim the surface of the minestrone to remove the scum, this will result in a nice clear broth.

Remove the chicken thighs and debone them – you can either add the

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chicken back

to the pot – or make a chicken & gherkin mayonnaise with them for sarmies.

Serve piping hot with a good table spoon of grated Parmesan cheese.



1 packet of dried tortellini

2L of minestrone broth

parmesan cheese for serving.


You will have plenty of broth/ liquid in your pot of minestrone, strain off at least 2L of the broth.

Boil a large pot of salted water – and add the tortellini and cook them until tender.

Strain the tortellini and add them to the broth – and WALLA – tortellin in brodo!

This is an elegant dish that is packed full of flavour and goodness.

One of my favourites, Tortellini in Brodo.

This, to me, is a dish worthy of hauling out your best dinner service and silver…..

Here – is served it with some ripped leaves of basil

and parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito



Here we go fellow bloggers – EXHIBIT A

….. note the remnants of the dorado with parma ham and herb

crust on the plate …. AND THE HUUUUUUUUUGE SPLODGE OF TOMATOE SAUCE ………Grrrrrrrrrr ………

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