So a brodo, it turns out, is a lovely rustic sounding Italian name for a broth. I've heard some tell that a true brodo must contain pasta of some sort, but bah! These dumplings are pasta enough for me.
Looks like i've achieved my holy grail of broth clarity: I had originally made a beautifully vivid yellow, but somewhat cloudy broth. I placed it in the fridge overnight to pull it out only to find that it had become a murky muddy brown!! So i went to trusty google to attempt the fabled egg raft method for clarifying broths. And check it out!! That is some super clear broth there if i do say so myself.
This is a great wintry dish that is light yet filling and satisfying at the same time. Feel free to replace the spinach with 1 cup of frozen spinach to save some time.
Ingredients (Serves 4 as main)
- 1 free range chicken, about 1.2kg
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 head garlic
- 10 or so pepper corns
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 450gm ricotta
- 30gm parmagiano reggiano + extra for garnish
- 1 cup of parsley
- 250gm fresh spinach
- 40gm flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely chop the onions, celery and carrot and cut the head of garlic in half horizontally.
Rinse the chicken well inside and out.
Place the chicken in a pot with all other ingredients and cover with 3.5 litres of cold water.
Slowly bring to a simmer and leave at a bare simmer for 3 hours, scraping any scum off the surface.
Strain the soup and leave to cool
If you want your soup extra clear:
When the soup is cool remove from the fridge and whisk 3 egg whites into it well.
Place on the stove and bring to a bare simmer.
Leave on a bare simmer for 30 minutes; after this time a scummy egg 'raft' should be floating on the surface.
Strain this soup over some cheesecloth.
The resulting broth should be very clear as the little impurities should have been trapped by the egg raft
Bring a pot of water to the boil.
Place the spinach and parsley in the water for 30 seconds then drain well.
Rinse the greens under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Squeeze the greens to get as much water out of them as you can.
Chop up the greens or place in a food processor.
In a mixing bowl, combine the greens with the eggs, parmigiano, ricotta, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Fold through the flour.
Bring another large pot of water to a simmer.
Pick up a heaped teaspoon of mixture and roll into a football.
Dust in the extra flour and drop into the simmering water.
If dumpling floats to the surface after 1- minutes and keeps its form, roll out the remaining dumplings and place on a floured tray.
Cook in batches of 8 or so. If the dumpling does not keep its shape add a little more flour to the mixture.
Divide the cooked dumplings amongst the serving bowls and ladle over the hot brodo.