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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

A family tradition: 600 anolini for Christmas

FRAMINGHAM — When Al Botti, 88, says he’s made 1.5 million anolini in his lifetime, he’s probably exaggerating. But not by much. Shortly before the holiday, Botti and his niece, Dorina Rossi O’Connell, get together in O’Connell’s kitchen here to make the northern Italian Christmas specialty, half-moons of pasta filled with a savory mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano, served in a rich homemade broth.

This duo isn’t fooling around. They make about 600 or so anolini, as part of the Christmas meal O’Connell serves to eight or 10 guests. Leftovers are frozen. O’Connell’s recipe for broth, or brodo, is also a large-scale undertaking. She makes several gallons, simmering it for hours in a 20-quart stockpot. Anolini in brodo is a simple dish — just stuffed pasta in clear broth. Its success lies in the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in their preparation.

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