I love Thanksgiving Dinner! Who doesn’t? Well, I guess vegetarians and vegans might not, but then again, just think about all the wonderful vegetables and sides that even they can eat. I think it’s one meal that has something for everyone, and too much for those like me. I enjoy everything on the table. I especially love how everyone has their favorite dish. Heaven forbid you don’t prepare everyone’s favorite. There’s just one problem with this. If every Thanksgiving you have to make the same favorites, how will you ever get to prepare something new, which could turn out to be the new, next “favorite.”
In my family, every so many years, someone throws a new dish into the mix. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. I introduced our family to mashed turnips many years ago, and to this day, they all still hate turnips, but I love them, and bring them to every Thanksgiving table to which I’m invited. Several years ago my sister introduced Brussels sprouts and a stuffing made with panetone, and now a year doesn’t go by without them. Many years ago, when several of us decided that we just couldn’t face Lasagna before turkey and the trimmings anymore, there was a slight revolt. “No pasta? It’s a Holiday!” was the lament. So my mother came up with the brilliant idea to make some chicken broth, and put some tortellini in it. This would satisfy the crazed pasta lovers and the rest of us could enjoy something light at the beginning of the meal. I really enjoy 3 or 4 tortellini in some delicious, hot chicken broth. Of course the crazed pasta lovers have just a little broth and maybe a dozen tortellini or so. They just have to have their pasta fix!
This dish can be even easier than you can imagine if you buy your chicken broth already made. But making broth is pretty easy. You just throw a chicken in a big pot of water with some onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and simmer it for an hour. Strain the broth and save the chicken for another time. You can make this days ahead. It’s up to you how easy you want to make this. If I’m cooking this enormous meal, I always buy the broth. Who needs more to do!
RECIPE: serves 8 to 12 people (depending upon how “pasta crazed” your guests are)
3 quarts of chicken broth, store bought or homemade
2 lbs cheese torlellini
grated Italian cheese for serving
1. Bring broth to a boil and then simmer till desired heat.
2. Cook tortellini in a separate pot of boiling salted water.
4. Serve hot with passed grated cheese.