Tortelli, a delicious synthesis of pasta and cake art

Tortelli is one of the many kinds of stuffed pasta you can find on an Italian dinner table, a delicious synthesis of pasta and cake art which dates back to medieval culture, as early as 1100. If we can enjoy it these days, it is down to the creativity and wisdom of the Italian massaie or housewives, who developed this ‘emergency food’ so as not to waste leftovers.

The pasta preparation is similar to a lasagna sheet and the ingredients are so simple: just flour, eggs and water. The pasta is cut into small pieces, which are then filled with something savoury (meat, cheese, vegetables) or even sweet (jams, hazelnuts, raspberry, candied fruit, biscuits) and rolled over so that it is closed. Their name it will come as no surprise literally means ‘little cakes’.

The shape, size and fillings are different in each town, let alone region: square like agnolotti (Piemonte), half-moon like anolini and mezzelune (Parma, Piacenza), medieval hat-shaped like cappelletti and cappellacci (Romagna) and then there’s triangular, braided, candy-shaped and many others, some small, some huge…

Tortelli are cooked in two different ways: boiled in water or broth and served with cheese and sauce, or fried and sweetened with sugar and honey.

Here’s a simple recipe for you to taste our signature ‘tortelli’ at home.

·       Bring salted water to boil. Drop in the pasta and cook for 4 minutes.

·       Melt butter in a small saucepan while the pasta is cooking.

·       Add sage leaves and cook on low for 2 minutes.

·       Drain the pasta and carefully layer it in a heated serving bowl.

·       Add butter and sprinkle it with Parmesan and pepper.

Tortelli are delicious also with tomato sauces (arrabbiata, puttanesca, tomato & basil, vegetarian ragù), creamy sauces (like truffle or wild mushrooms) and even pesto and ragù, which can also be found in our stores.