Delicate tortellini and Italian brodo (broth) are a match made in heaven.
To blanch the meat, place everything into a tall, skinny soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water up to a boil over medium-high heat.
Skim the impurities off the top as they rise to the surface. Once the water comes to a boil, drain and discard the murky water. Cover the meat again with cold water and return to the heat. Slowly bring to a simmer, skimming any additional impurities off the surface.
If you do not want to go through the blanching process, simply bring everything slowly up to a simmer and skim the impurities as they rise to the surface.
In the meantime, prepare your mise en place.
To prepare the mirepoix, peel and cut the onion into large dice. Cut the celery and carrot into about 1/2" -inch pieces. Peel the garlic and core the tomatoes. Roughly chop the fennel stems and set aside.
Gather the bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns) and parmesan rind.
Once the impurities have been skimmed from the surface of the broth, add the salt, mirepoix and bouquet garni. Continue to gently simmer.
Once the chicken has just cooked through, remove the legs from the broth. Set aside to cool.
Once the legs are cool enough to handle, remove the nice chunks of meat from the bones and set aside. The meat can be used in other preparations or it can be added back to the broth later, if making a different soup.
Once the chicken has been removed from the bones, return the bones to the broth. Continue to simmer the broth for at least 1 hour or until the ham hock and beef shank are tender.
Once the ham hock and beef shank are tender, remove them from the broth. Take the meat off the bones, if desired, to use in another preparation.
Remove and discard the solids from the broth. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
Skim as much fat from the surface as possible. If desired, cool the broth over an ice bath and refrigerate. Remove any hardened fat before proceeding with the soup.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with salt (1 tsp per liter/quart of water).
In the meantime, place the desired amount of broth into another pot and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt.
Cook the tortellini in the simmering water until tender. Once done, drain and place into the broth. Pour into warm bowls and serve immediately.