Stuffed pasta (Venus’s belly button) in broth

Stuffed pasta (Venus’s belly button) in broth

Ombelico di venere in brodo

By
From
Simple Cooking
Serves
4
Photographer
Alastair Hendy

I tend to eat it this simple dish anywhere I can find it. The little stuffed pasta – tortellini, cappelletti, or anolini as they call them in Bologna – are usually handmade, and look amazing. Although I think they look like little hats, some imaginative Italians have christened them ‘Venus’s belly button’. While preparing them from fresh is quite difficult, you can buy a ready-made fresh variety from good delicatessens.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre chicken or beef stock
salt
400g good-quality fresh tortellini or cappelletti
60g parmesan, freshly grated
pepper

Method

  1. Put the stock into a pan, and boil gently until it has reduced to 600 ml. This intensifies the flavour.
  2. Bring the stock back to the boil and check for salt and pepper. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions of the vendor or the packet, usually between 4–6 minutes (but it can vary a lot).
  3. Spoon the stock and pasta into deep soup plates and sprinkle over the Parmesan to finish.

Alternate serving suggestion

  • You could cook the pasta in the stock, drain, and then fry in butter with some sage as a little pasta starter. Alternatively, you could retain a little of the stock in the frying pan, add a little double cream and some shreds of ham to create a different sauce for the pasta (making this into a dish known in Italy as tortellini alla panna).
Tags:
Simple Cooking
Antonio
Carluccio
Carlucio
simple
easy
fast
quick
weeknight
midweek
mid-week
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