Tortellini Retrograde

Tortellini in brodo, a perfectly simple soup of tortellini in chicken broth with a little spinach, may be just the ticket to restoring order in the universe.

It’s not that I believe in astrology, particularly – or that I’d admit, in a public forum such as this one, that frankly, yes I do, a little bit. What? Did you hear me say something just now? I didn’t.

Have you noticed, though, what a nice excuse the universe provides sometimes? We’ve had a lot of, shall we say, tortellini hitting the fan around here in the past few weeks; and sometimes it’s hard for a girl not to blame herself. It can be quite the relief to learn, at such times, that Mercury has been retrograde since mid-January. Even a non-believer like myself knows what that means. There’s chaos in the air, and my friends, we’re all a-breathin.

So, really, there isn’t a lot we can do, other than hunker down with a bowl of simple food and wait for the mess to clear itself up. For those of us who are just now turning six months old, and this very week are new to food that can be shown on the internet without an adults-only rating, simple food is a bowl of single-grain rice cereal and some carrots straight from the blender. Ooh, yummy, that’s good. (And baby makes four members of the umami family who’ve never met a food they wouldn’t lunge at on impulse with an open mouth.)

For others of us, simplicity in a bowl is a Monday lunch of Tortellini in Brodo for one and ten minutes of quiet to leaf through a pretty, mindless magazine.

As calming meals go, it doesn’t hurt that you can buy two and a half pounds, or 3,300 calories worth, of perfectly decent three-cheese tortellini for $8.99. (That’s enough pasta to make this recipe ten times.) If you need proof of this small miracle, click on the picture below to make it big, and check out the price sticker.

If you’re thinking that a meal this simple is just the kind of thing that would be much, much better with homemade stock and homemade tortellini, well, as we say here in Jersey, I’m not gonna lie – yer right. Maybe sometime soon when Mercury is direct, and I’m in the mood to host a fancy dinner party with homemade tortellini in brodo, you’ll get a recipe for that. But as we also say here in Jersey, that is SO not the point right now, okay? This soup is freakin awesome just the way it is.

Tortellini in Brodo

Serves 1

This is more of a reminder than a recipe, really. Feel free to adjust the proportions to your liking.

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cheese tortellini
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Grated cheese for serving
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In a small pot, bring the broth to a gentle boil. Add the tortellini and cook for the shortest time suggested by the package directions. Add the spinach leaves about a minute before the tortellini is fully cooked. Serve sprinkled with grated cheese.

  • Sounds delicious as I am sure it is and the photographs of young Umami’s is equally delicious. EdieReplyCancel

  • Carolyn

    Thanks, Edie! There are lots of new baby umami pictures on flickr for your consuming pleasure, as well.ReplyCancel

  • Love the photographs, and yes, I check frequently and am amazed at how much both girls have evolved, a tribute to love and good parenting.ReplyCancel

  • The lady and I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. Very tasty. And I even forgot to grate some cheese on top. Next time.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn

    Pierre, I’m glad! Hope you’re both enjoying a leisurely Saturday.ReplyCancel

  • Jill

    Hey Carolyn… :)
    question for ya… do you think this would work well with veggie broth? for my darling husband?! or any other suggestions to make a version for him? Because I’m so making this for me & Kaylie! :o)ReplyCancel

  • Hi Jill, yup, it would work great with a mildly flavored veggie broth, or even a mushroom broth. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Lily

    Ok, sooooo once again I am making chicken soup so as to perfect my technique in this all-important craft and once again I find myself reading the soup section of the Alice Waters you gave me. Once again my eyes drift over the words “murky and greasy” and… wait… what? “murky and greasy”??? Ew. Let me try to avoid that. But of course I always forget to do something like, say, wait to put the veggies in so that I can actually skim the “foam” off…or maybe forget about the soup altogether and come back to it boiling away for what must by now be, oh, an hour and a half. So much for “turn down the heat right away”. So my question is this, Gurumamigirl, what’s the deal with all this foam stuff and skimming it off? And how come Ms. Waters is all like “oh no problem just skim off the foam but leave the fat” when all i see is foam and fat singing “we are the world” swaying hand in hand atop my simmering chicken broth with looming threats of producing a “murky” and “greasy” soup?ReplyCancel

  • [...] Tortellini and Spinach in Broth [...]ReplyCancel

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