Sunday, December 28, 2014

Capellini en Parmesan Brodo (and a Recipe for Parmesan Broth) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Capellini en Parmesan Brodo. Is it a soup? Is it a pasta dish? I happen to think it is a fabulous combination of the two. 

I try to make my own soup broths whenever I can. Homemade broths taste better and are healthier as you control the sodium and there are no additives. Since I have stopped cooking meat and poultry, it usually means a basic veggie broth, sometimes I change it up with a garlic or mushroom stock and the occasional batch of dashi. When I was flipping through the December 2014 issue of Bon Appétit, the recipe for Parm Broth quickly caught my eye--not to mention the recipe for Capellini en Parmesan Brodo that accompanied it. Something flavorful and a little different for my broth repertoire.

Described as 'rich and versatile' the broth called for a pound of Parmesan rinds and I had only two tucked away in my freezer to toss soups for extra flavor. The gourmet "market" tucked into my local grocery store sometimes has small bags of the rinds for sale and when I went in to inquire, the clerk told me she was cutting up a giant wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano in a few hours (after it came to room temp) and offered to hold some for me to pick up. So a quick trip back and $2.37 later, I had a pound and some change of rinds ready to be transformed into broth and a soupy pasta dish. 

About the Capellini en Parmesan Brodo Bon Appétit says, "The pasta absorbs the flavor of the broth as it cooks, and the pasta starches thicken the liquid to a lip-smacking consistency."

Capellini en Brodo
Recipe From Bon Appétit, December 2014
(Serves 2)

2 oz capellini pasta
2 cups Parmesan Broth (see recipe below)
2 large egg yolks
Grated Parmesan, fresh thyme leaves, and freshly ground black pepper (for serving)
Cook pasta in hot Parmesan Broth in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until pasta is al dente and broth is reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes (if too thick, thin with more broth). Divide pasta between bowls; twist into tight nests. Add broth and top each with an egg yolk, Parmesan, thyme, and pepper.

About the Parm Broth Bon Appétit says, "Use this rich and versatile broth in vegetable soups, instant-supper pastas, such as Capellini en Brodo, and beans in need of a boost."

Parm Broth
Recipe From Dawn Perry and Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit, December 2014
(Makes About 4 Cups)

2 bsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 bunch thyme
1 bay leaf
3–4 parsley sprigs
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb Parmesan rinds
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and peppercorns, stirring often, until garlic is deep brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up any brown bits, until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. 

Add Parmesan rinds and 8 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent cheese from sticking to bottom of pot, until broth is flavorful and reduced by half, about 2 hours.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (or an airtight container if making ahead).  

Do Ahead: Broth can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill

Notes/Results: The broth is rich in flavor with that kind of nutty, fruity taste of good Parmesan. My tip--use an old pot and prepare to spend time cleaning it. Even with frequent stirring melted Parmesan will stick and the clean up is a bit of a pain. Still the four cups of broth that result--two for the recipe below and two for another dish (I am thinking beans will be involved) is worth it. If you are like me and don't go through your Parmesan very quickly, do check with your local cheese seller or a grocer that cuts and wraps their own good cheeses--the price for the rinds is really reasonable. 

The capellini en brodo is a simple but indulgent pleasure--rich and silky broth and slurpable noodles. The egg yolk only adds to the rich creaminess. I used a very fresh local egg. You could of course poach or even fry the egg if you don't trust them raw. I like to live semi-dangerously. ;-) I will definitely be saving and buying up more rinds and making more broth and en brodo dishes. 

We have a couple of good friends hanging out in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week. Let's have a look. 

Janet of The Taste Space shares this soup/stew-ish curry dish and says, "This will be a quick post to share another of my favourite repeater recipes from this year: Isa’s Coconut Chana Saag. I am still not sure why it looks like most of the curries I share, but this one is flippin fantastic. Perhaps the touch of fennel brought it to the next level? In any case, it is delicious and highly recommended."

Kim of Stirring the Pot made Aunt Raffy's Quinoa and Ceci Soup from Giada De Laurentiis and says, "This is a power-packed super satisfying soup with lots of chickpeas (ceci) and the super healthy and ever-so-popular quinoa.  These powerhouse ingredients are made flavorful with lots of veggies, a variety of fresh herbs, and lots of Parmesan. It's definitely a feel good soup that leaves you feeling rather virtuous, plus it's even better the next day! It's a win-win all around."

Looking for a salad or a soup topper? Pam of Sidewalk Shoes recommends her Homemade Croutons saying, "We love bread around our house. The problem is you don’t quite make it through the bread before it starts getting a little stale.  hat’s when it’s the perfect time to make these homemade croutons. They are so easy and they pay you back tenfold. I love them in green salads and I also use them in frittatas, savory bread puddings, and panzanella."

Thanks to Pam, Kim and Janet for joining me this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week! 



  1. Deb your soups always look delicious. But this one! This one is screaming my name. Now to collect those Parmesan rinds. I just have to try this soup/pasta. Thanks so much for sharing. I will be pinning this to my soup board. Have a Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks Denise! ;-) It did turn out well--so much great flavor. Happy New Year to you too!

  3. That looks divine - and a solo treat because Paul would not eat his eggs like that! I need to start saving parm rinds.

  4. I stumbled across this recipes in BA yesterday! Now that you've given it a good review, I absolutely must have it.

  5. Yes you must! Use the 'good' Parmesan for this. I read some comments that people thought it tasted bitter but I think that has to do with the quality of the Parm.

  6. Well you could leave the egg off of his. Or a solo treat is always nice too--more noodles for you to slurp up. ;-)

  7. what a great assortment of soups!

  8. Thanks Kat. Happy New Year!

  9. Not sure how you cook capellini in 3 minutes?

    1. Hey Anonymous, capellini is so thin and so the average suggested cooking time for dried capellini is 3-4 minutes (and it should be a little al dente). Cooking it in the hot broth in a skillet for 3 minutes worked fine.


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