In our house, as in many Italian houses we will be having a pasta course of annolini in brodo. They are small pasta parcels that are filled with a fantastic mixture of stracotto and cheese which is an intense and wonderful flavour.
These have been a tradition for as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact a Christmas meal would not be the same without them.
I am not going to pretend that they are not labour intensive as they are, but like the tortelli they can be made in advance and stored in the freezer until needed.
First of all you will need to make the stracotto which translates as over cooked or extra cooked.
Start off with a good size piece of brisket. No need to worry if you have too much as you can eat the extras and enjoy every mouthful. You will need at least 1 kilogramme.
1 large onion.
2 or 3 cloves of garlic. It all depends on how big they are. they will cook for ages and the taste will mellow while they cook so don't skimp.
1 stalk of celery.
1 Knorr stock cube. I bring mine back from Italy and I use gusto classico. It has a good flavour and does not fight with the flavour of the meat.
250g butter. Yes, that much.
A couple of glasses of white wine.
What you will need to do:
Fry the meat in a little butter, add the onions and continue to fry gently until the mixture is brown.
Add the carrot which you have peeled and cut in half along with the the halved celery.
Pour over the wine and add the garlic and stock cube.
Simmer gently and I do mean gently for about 5 hours. If you have the oven on low then it will sit quite happily in a very low onen for the same time.
It will be ready when it falls apart.
To make the filling you will need these extra ingredients.
Parmesan cheese Use as much as you think that you need. I generally tase mine and see. the cheese also tends to dry the filling so if you think that your filling is too wet add more cheese.
2 to 3 eggs
Make the pasta in the same way that I described in the Tortelli section and
These will fill us so much that the turkey course that follows will be picked at rather than devoured.