- 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.
o Substitute one quart of shredded escarole for the spinach.
o 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.