Summer is here, bringing with it not only longer days and higher temperatures, but the desire to pack up and go by plane, train or automobile. Many are preparing to embark on their family vacations, honeymoons or other journeys worldwide. For me travel infers adventure and exploration, memory making and merriment; and it also conjures up thoughts of tortellini in brodo.
Most people wouldn’t necessarily equate a steeping bowl of flavorful chicken soup with travel (summer or otherwise), but for me, it stirs up memories of heartfelt welcomes and homecomings.
Growing up we spent many summers traveling to Italy, spending time with family and friends enjoying many wonderful meals. While every bite was delightful, a summer long dining series often turned into gastronomic overload. An extremely full belly, coupled with a nine hour flight home often took its toll on weary travellers. The remedy for this ailment, ladled out by prescription from Dr. Mom, a bowl of tortellini swimming in chicken stock dotted with prupettini (Calabrese for miniature meatballs). It’s the perfect homecoming, just the right thing to settle the stomach and the spirit. Without fail, at the end of every journey, we could always count on this fantastic welcome home; the perfect meal, not too heavy but plentiful.
Not only is this aromatic brodo ready and waiting on is the return from our family travels, but it often acts as the starter when entertaining guests from abroad. My mother’s thoughtfulness in preparing lighter fare is always a welcome treat to her guests whole indulgences are many over days that are few.
This is a traveller’s tradition that I too have carried on, preparing this bowl full of love as both a bentornato and benvenuto. Buon Appetito!