Serves 4

This amazing tortellini in brodo would be on the go all through Christmas Day and if we went outside to play we would just have a little cup to warm us up as we came in. Use the remaining 2.5 litres of chicken stock from the previous risotto recipe.

For the filling

1 small chicken or capon breast, weighing about 100g
3tbsp double cream
100g pancetta
100g mortadella
Freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp grated Parmesan cheese



For the pasta

500g '00' flour
3 large eggs plus 2 extra-large yolks (all at room temperature)
A pinch of salt



First, make about 600g pasta. Sieve the flour into a clean bowl, then turn it out into a mound on a clean, flat surface and make a well in the middle. Sprinkle the salt into the well and then crack in the eggs. Have a bowl of water on one side, so you can wet your hands to help bring the dough together if it is being stubborn towards the end of the kneading.

First, break the yolks with the fingertips of one hand, and then begin to move your fingers in a circular motion, gradually incorporating the flour, until you have worked enough to start bringing it together in a ball.

Then you can start to work the ball of dough by pushing it with the heel of your hand, then folding the top back on itself, turning it a little clockwise, and repeating, again and again, for about 10 minutes, wetting your hands if it helps, until the dough is springy but still feels quite firm and difficult to work.

(If you are using a food processor, sieve the flour into the bowl, add the salt, then start the machine, and slowly add the egg yolks, followed by the whole eggs. Keep the motor running slowly, or it will heat up the pasta too much, and also "beat" rather than mix. Once the dough has come together, take it out and put it on a clean work surface.)

Don't worry if the dough feels hard; after it has relaxed for a while it will be perfect. Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap each in a damp cloth and allow to rest for about 1 hour before use.

To make the filling, put the uncooked capon breast into a food processor, with a little cream if necessary to loosen, and blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve to remove any sinews from the meat.

Put back into the processor and add the pancetta and mortadella with the rest of the cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Blitz again until completely smooth. Add the Parmesan, and blitz again to mix in completely. Put the mixture in the fridge until needed.

Cut the rested pasta dough in half and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Pass the dough through a pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold in half and then put through again.

Repeat the process, moving the machine to a thinner setting each time, until the pasta is about mm thick. Repeat with the rest of the pasta, so you end up with two thin strips.

Lay the pasta strips on a work surface. From each strip cut around 30 squares of about 5 x 5cm. Fill the centre of one set of squares with a little of the chicken mixture (about three-quarters of a teaspoon).

Brush the edges of each square with beaten egg and fold over two of the diagonal edges to make a triangle, enclosing the mixture. Take each triangle, one point facing upwards, and bring the two opposite points straight down and underneath, then press the pasta together to seal.

Bring the stock to the boil in a big pan. Put in the tortellini and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Taste the stock and season if necessary. Then serve in bowls.

If you like, you can grate a little Parmesan and/or some black truffle over the top.

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