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What is inside of Tortellini? - classic filled pasta

Aggiornamento: 20 gen 2019

This delicate recipe is a must of the Italian cuisine with a mythical framework on how it came to reality. There is a recipe for cappelletti, smaller tortellini, that dates back to the 12th century, and the first tortellini recipe comes from 1550. #Torellini, are egg noodles shaped as a circular pouch of folded dough containing various meat and/or cheese fillings and served in chicken broth or with cream. The popular culture says this handmade pasta was born in the town of Castelfranco Emilia, within the province of #Modena, near #Bologna. Although the story slightly varies from town to town within the Emilia-Romagna Region, the most common version says that Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty, while spending a night in a local inn stole the attention of the innkeeper who peered at her through the keyhole of her room door, and by seeing her overwhelming beauty he got the inspiration, went to his kitchen and invented tortellini by sculpturing in the shape of Venus’s navel.

Bologna has built its gastronomic fame also on tortellini noodles, which today are a well-practiced tradition, and is an absolute delicious must-try of the Italian cuisine.

WINE PAIRING: #Lambrusco, Soave


Per 4 servings


1 lb Grated #Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

10 oz pork loin meat

1 oz non smoked bacon

7 oz #Prosciutto crudo (non smoked ham)

Chicken broth

2 oz butter

1 egg

Extra virgin olive oil q.s.

Black pepper to taste

nutmeg to taste

salt to taste


1 lb all-purpose flour

4 eggs

salt to taste

water q.s.


For the tortellini filling:

In a pan, melt the butter together with the olive oil and completely cook the pork chunk and bacon, when cooled add chopped prosciutto and finely ground the meat with a food processor.

Add the grated cheese, some olive oil to taste and mix until soft and smooth. Add a pinch of salt and nutmeg.

This is the classic tortellini filling, but there are many variations depending of the actual city or village within the Emilia-Romagna Region. Is possible to have Mortadella instead of prosciutto, chicken breast, roast veal instead of pork, but also hen (or better capon) and lard in the place of butter.

For the pasta:

Prepare dough mixing eggs, flour, salt and water, let it rests in a palate covered with saran wrap for about 30 minutes, and then roll the dough into a thin sheet with help of a rolling pin.

To fold your tortellini you have to cut the sheet of dough into ¼ in squares where you place a tiny amount of filling at the center and fold them into a triangle, sealing the edges. To give the typical shape squeeze together your thumb and index finger of both hands on either sides of the triangle, so that the free point of the triangle will face upwards and twist the pasta right end towards the left end than place one corner on top of one another until they are united.

Place torellini on a floured kitchen towel to dry until all harden (1-2 hours) and ready to be cooked.

Boil tortellini in chicken broth until they come to the surface and serve hot in a bowl 12 tortellini per person together with the broth sprinkled with grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

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