December 21, 2012

Gift of Love- Tortellini

Making pasta is an Italian mother's way of saying "Ti Amo", I love you.

Simple ingredients, flour and eggs, turn into a gift of love, especially at Christmas.

Yesterday in cooking class, my students requested to make Tortellini, one of the most traditional pastas from Emilia Romagna. Tuscans buy tortellini, not make them. We make Tortelli, a huge oversized raviolo filled with seasoned mashed potatoes and topped with ragu.

I did a little online research and found a fun video from the gastronomia Bruno e Franco  that my friend Marcello took me to on a  market tour in Bologna.

They are actually simple, but takes awhile to get the tiny tortellini folding trick down. After a full batch, you will be an expert too!

The secrets are in the quality of the ingredients, not quantity.

Pasta is made with eggs from free-range chickens and flour. We used a 50/50 blend of semola and white flour.

The filling was 3 ounces/ 100 grams each  of :
Mortadella, Prosciutto and cooked ground pork.

The meats were pureed in a food processor and then we added one egg and mixed in 200 grams of grated parmesan cheese and seasoned with a nutmeg.

The pasta was rolled out on the special wood pasta board, which provides texture for the dough.

Tiny squares are cut and the filling paste placed on top.

Then the fun begins, folding like tiny Italian wontons, first in half, forming a  triangle, then  a magic little flip/fold to create the little belly of meat held in the dough and the tip pointing up.

A quick twist of the ends around your finger tip and press!


Since I don't make them often I don't have the official long rolling pin the women in Emilia Romagna use, a broomstick or a dowel ( unpainted) would do.

There is also a fabulous tool to cut the pasta squares with that makes life easier too, you can see in the video.

I think I need one! This was so much fun to do with friends.

Traditionally, tortellini are ALWAYS cooked in broth, not water and we served  them in broth also.
But even when they are served with ragu, they are still cooked in broth. It adds an extra dimension to the flavor.

their pasta is 12 fresh eggs for a kilo of flour.


  1. Ciao Judy!

    A gift of love indeed! I love it when some one makes things like this. They look beautiful. Merry Christmas!

  2. What a cool video! Even though I don't speak Italian, I feel like I understood almost all that was said. If only we could get that bright orange color yolked egg in the US!

    Wishing you and Andrea a very Merry Christmas and a successful, happy and healthy 2013. Assuming the Mayan end of the world doesn't do away with us all before the end of the day.