Tortellini : Tortellini are dry pasta in a rounded shape, they are usually filled with different ingredients such as cheese, meat or vegetables. They can be served with a sauce or inside a broth , in the form of soup .


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  • 1 Legend
  • 2 Origin
  • 3 types of tortellini
  • 4 The recipe
    • 1 Ingredients
    • 2 Preparation of the dough
    • 3 Preparation of the filling
    • 4 Preparation of the sauce
    • 5 Preparation of tortellini
  • 5 Sources


Legend has it that during the ancient battle between Modena and Bologna, the gods Mars, Venus and Bacchus came down to the aid of the people. At the end of that difficult day, to recover and rest, they stopped at an inn in the town of Catelfranco, Emilia in the same province of Modena.

The next morning Mars and Bacchus left the inn very soon to continue the battle and Venus, tired, decided to stay and take a relaxed bath in her room. The innkeeper, very curious, approached the room to spy on Venus from the lock. Absolutely captivated by the beauty of the curves and the perfection of his navel, he went down to the kitchen, took a piece of pasta and with it formed the first tortellini, matching that perfect shape of the goddess’s navel.


Legends aside, the history of tortellini dates back to the 13th century and since then until today it has been reaffirmed as a successful dish not only in Italy, but throughout the world.

Tortellini soup.

It is curious but, as in many other cases, the tortellini seems to have been born as a poor dish. In order to use the meat that was not eaten and that remained on the tables of the nobles, the poor, who did not have much more than flour, water and in some cases eggs, managed and decided to put that meat inside a ” sheet ”of pasta and seal the whole by making a small knot around the finger, twisting the pasta. Hence the name, twisted ( turtléin in Bolognese dialect) and finally tortellini.

Its creation is disputed between Bologna and Modena. Around 1200 there was a pasta with a shape similar to that of tortellini but they were not filled.

In Italy, gastronomic history does not mention filled tortellini until the year 1300. A recipe for enell tortellini appears on a cookbook (enula is a traditional herb from the Emilia Romana region).

Centuries later in the 1500 there is also documentation that in the Senate of Bologna 16 tribunes of the town met and ate tortellini soup.

In 1664 Vicenco Tanara in the book The economy of the city in Villa mentions the tortellini cooked in butter.

Almost two centuries later in 1842 Antoine-Claude Pasquín a French biographer also mentions tortellinis, a type of pasta that has continued to be part of Italian gastronomy.

Types of tortellini

Tortellini is a dish that lends itself to a wide variety of combinations. The pasta used can be made without eggs or be colored, tomato or spinach. The filling is usually based on chicken or ham, minced with nutmeg, egg yolks and Parmesan.

In Bologna, where this pasta was born, the tortellini are an integral part of the Christmas dinner (stuffed with turkey, ham and salami). Poached in a soup or cooked in water, the tortellini are served with melted butter or sauce, with tomato or cream and with Parmesan.

Tortellini is a type of pasta that has many cousins, both salty and sweet. In the same Emilia Romagna region, around the Bologna and Modena area, there are several types of fresh pasta filled with different sizes and shapes that descend directly from its more international cousin:

  • The Tortelli, another type of flat, non-crooked stuffed pasta.
  • The Cappelletti, originating from the Reggio Emilia area, first cousins ​​of the Tortellini.
  • The Cappellacci, from the Ferrara area, a large version of the traditional tortellino.
  • The Añolotti, in the Parma area.
  • And then the sweet versions of tortellini filled with custard, chocolate or jams that are fried or cooked in the oven.

The recipe

Tortellini is a dish that takes several steps to prepare, especially if you prefer to make it with fresh dough. It is necessary to prepare the dough, the filling, the sauce, shape and fill the tortellini, cook them and serve them.


Tortellini with sauce.

  • 300 grams of flour for baking
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 100 grams of ground meat
  • 100 grams of minced ham
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of yeast
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Pepper (optional)

Preparation of the dough

  1. In a container put 300 grams of flour for baking and half a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Beat 3 eggs and pour them into the bowl with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. With a wooden spoon stir all the ingredients until they are well mixed.
  4. Knead this combination of ingredients on a wooden or earthenware surface until you have an elastic dough.
  5. If necessary, add a little more flour to the dough while working.
  6. In case the dough is hard, add a little cold water.
  7. When the dough is finished, cover and let it rest for a quarter of an hour.
  8. After that time, roll out the dough until it is very thin, being careful not to break it.
  9. Then leave it to rest for another quarter of an hour, covering it with a cloth.

Preparation of the filling

Mix 100 grams of ground meat with 100 grams of minced ham, 1 egg and salt. If you are looking for more consistency, add a little breadcrumbs. Then, knead this mixture with your hands until you get little balls that will serve as a filling for the tortellini.

Preparation of the sauce

Mix 1 liter of milk, 6 tablespoons of yeast and the grated nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt and a little pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium heat, always stirring with a spoon. Once it begins to boil, reduce the temperature to low heat, then remove it from the heat and save this sauce for later.

Steps to fold the tortellini.

Tortellini preparation

  1. Cut the dough into squares of about 8 cm and put the filling inside each one.
  2. Fold the dough into a triangle and, with a little water, wet the edges and then close them tightly while pressing them manually.
  3. Fold the pasta again but this time joining the ends, simulating the characteristic shape of the original tortellini.
  4. Let them dry resting on a table lightly covered in flour.
  5. Cook the pasta with plenty of water and a little salt for about 10 minutes.
  6. When serving, bathe in sauce and sprinkle grated cheese on top for a more intense flavor.


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