Tortellini and Spinach in Garlic Broth

Don't be tempted to cook the tortellini in the soup; they will soak up too much of that irresistibly garlicky broth. Cook them separately, as the soup simmers, and stir them in at the last moment.


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  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Winter, Italian, Pasta & Noodles, Soups & Stews, Fast, Dinner, Lunch

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well (about 2 1/4 quarts)
  • Grated Parmesan, for sprinkling

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini until just done, about 4 minutes for fresh or 12 minutes for frozen. Drain.
  3. Add the spinach to the soup and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the tortellini. Serve the soup sprinkled with grated Parmesan and pass more of the grated cheese at the table.



o Substitute one quart of shredded escarole for the spinach.

o Use meat- or cheese-filled ravioli instead of the tortellini.

Suggested Pairing

Tocai friulano, one of Italy's hidden treasures, bears no relation to the Tokays of Hungary or Alsace. It has a full body and penetrating citrus and nut flavors that will be superb here.

Photo © Nicole Franzen Published November 2012

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