- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Substitute one quart of shredded escarole for the spinach.
Use meat- or cheese-filled ravioli instead of the tortellini.
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.