Ingredients for the soup8 cups homemade chicken stock (recipe below) 2 packages cheese tortellini, 1 pound each 4 cups baby spinach 1/2 cup parmesan, shredded 4 ounces pancetta, diced into tiny cubes 1/2 lemon 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup fresh herbs (any mix of parsley, basil, thyme) Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for the chicken stock4 pounds chicken wings, bones, carcass 6 quarts water 2 carrots, cut into large chunks 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks 1 small onion, cut into large chunks 1 herb bundle, (2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs thyme, 10 sprigs parsley), tied together with kitchen twine 6 thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine 12 black peppercorns 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Directions for the soup
- Pour the chicken stock into a 4 quart pot and bring to a boil.
- Mix the herbs into the bread crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil toast over medium heat until golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve.
- Put the pancetta cubes into a small skillet and brown over medium heat. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
- Add the tortellini to stock and boil the pasta according to package directions. Lower the heat to simmer and squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Ladle the cooked tortellini among the soup plates. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 cup of spinach (it will begin to wilt immediately). Shave a generous amount of Parmesan over the dish, evenly distribute the pancetta cubes among the bowls, and finish with a generous spoonful of the toasted bread crumbs piled in the center of the bowl on top of a tortellin so they do not get soggy). Serve immediately.
Directions for the chicken stock
- Add all ingredients for the stock except the lemon juice to a large stockpot. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
- Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the lemon juice and salt.
- Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Refrigerate at least 8 hours. Remove the fat that hardens and rises to the top.