In the court of the tortellino king

In the court of the tortellino king

His Majesty the tortellino and their ancestors. If legend has it that the emblematic dish of Bolognese cuisine was born in Castelfranco, from a “one-eyed and Bolognese” host who wanted to celebrate the navel of Venus, goddess of beauty, history has its roots in 1500. “The first recipe we know of, ‘Tortelli with caponi, pulastri or other ocelli alla bolognese’ – explains Luca Cesari, who dedicated a chapter to the Petronian specialty book The history of pasta in ten dishes – is published in manuscript exhibited at the Ruskin Gallery in Sheffield, England. However, they were small fried discs filled with egg, cheese, chicken meat, Raisins Y spicesDry portions, an expression of a time when the sweet-savory contrast was especially appreciated”. More than a hundred years later, Antonio Frugoli from Lucca publishes the first recipe printed in your cookbook. They were called anolin, contained a filling of marrow, quince in syrup (another Bolognese specialty of the past) and were covered with cheese, grated, sugar and cinnamon. to follow many variantsdeclined according to the gastronomic tastes and fashions of each century.

The first known recipe for tortellino dates back to 1500

the stuffing

There is not family Emiliano who does not keep his own version from stuffed, to dispute the primacy of all the others. The classic filling is based on ham, mortadella, pork loin, parmesanY nutmeg. Version, which appeared in the first postwar period, and registered in 1974 at the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. There Stuffed The oldest and most traditional was instead based on chicken or capon, while pork has appeared since the mid-19th century. A curiosity: during the Second World War, when meat and cheese were scarce, the ingenuity of the chefs had developed a ‘lean’ version made with a nutmeg-based pastry folded like a tortellino, totally without filling. “I called them ‘my grandparents “– says the chef jokingly Vincenzo Voter, author of a menu that traces the history of tortellino in nine dishes -. They are the ones that my grandmother’s stuffing is the best in the world. I had a lot of fun reproducing the old recipes from which I was able to get interesting ideas for new creations as well.” No sooner said than done. His ‘The winner is’, tortellino in guinea pig and hay broth, with lambrusco spherification, won the title of best creative tortellino in 2016 at Tour-Tlen, competition which takes place every year Bologna.

The winner is, the version that won the Bologna Tour Tlein competition in 2016


Also there way and the extent They have evolved a lot over the centuries. The first official indication is given in the book ‘Il Cuoco sapiente, or the art of pleasing the taste of the Italians’, a collection of recipes published in 1887. The tortellino had to have a size and shape corresponding to a silver shield, badge circulating at that time, equal to about 37 millimeters, with less than a gram of filler inside. Dimensions taken fromArtusí in his ‘The science of cooking and the art of eating well’ in 1891.

Maria’s version

The version dictated in the thirties by the writer Maria Volpi with veal liver and boiled egg yolk has disappeared

Maria VolpiBolognese writer who lived in the 1930s, revealed in an interview with the magazine La cucina Italiana, published in 1931, the recipe for the filling inherited from her family, nothing flattened by the Artusian lesson that was now the most popular. . Ham, veal liver, pork, chicken breast and boiled egg yolk. A version that has completely disappeared. Also of note is the ‘Rich and Poor’ version, by the chef and president of the Tour-Tlen association, Carlo Alberto Borsarini, who sees the Bolognese tortellini served in beans soup.


The recipe presented in 1974

then ready for try your hand with the roller? Here she is traditional tortellino recipe filed with Bologna Chamber of Commerce from the learned brotherhood of tortellino and the Italian Academy of Cuisine. To be included in your cookbook!

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