Unraveling the Mystery of Tortellini:
Italy's Bite-Sized Treasures

Have you ever tasted a bite of history? Bite into a tortellini, and you'll unlock centuries of Italian tradition, nestled in a delicate pasta embrace.

The origin of tortellini, like many Italian delicacies, is shrouded in the mist of culinary lore. Two cities, Bologna and Modena, proudly claim this pasta jewel as their own. One legend whispers of Venus inspiring an innkeeper after seeing her navel, another hints at leftover roast transformed into bite-sized masterpieces. Regardless of the true origin story, both Bologna and Modena have honed the art of tortellini, each boasting its own unique recipes and traditions.

Stacks Image 5858

Making tortellini is a labor of love. The pasta dough, traditionally egg-based, is rolled thin and delicate. The filling, often a blend of pork, mortadella, parmesan, and nutmeg, is seasoned to perfection. Then comes the magic: tiny squares of dough are transformed into intricate little purses, each cradling a flavorful surprise. Some prefer their tortellini floating in a clear broth, while others choose the luxurious embrace of a creamy ragù.

Stacks Image 5862
Here is a recipe to try:

For the pasta dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound mortadella, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the broth (optional):
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Make the pasta dough: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs and olive oil. Mix until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling: Combine ground pork, mortadella, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Roll out the pasta dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin sheet. Cut into squares.
  4. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of each square. Fold the corners together to form triangular pouches, pinching the edges to seal.
  5. (Optional) Make the broth: In a large pot, combine broth, carrot, onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. (Optional) Add tortellini to the broth and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface.
  7. Serve immediately, with broth or topped with your favorite sauce.

  • Don't be intimidated by the delicate process! Making tortellini takes practice, but the reward is worth it.
  • Get creative with your fillings! You can add different types of meat, vegetables, or even cheese to your liking.
  • Don't overcrowd the pot when cooking the tortellini in broth. Cook them in batches to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process! Tortellini are meant to be enjoyed with loved ones, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Stacks Image 5867