The name “tortellino” is a diminutive of tortello which in turn derives from the word “cake”, precisely indicating that, like a small cake, tortellini can be filled. Tortellini have always been considered a purely Bolognese dish and is one of the best dishes from Italian cuisine. It requires patience and dedication. The original recipe for the tortellini filling consists of: pork loin, raw ham, Bologna mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, eggs and nutmeg. According to the originally recorded recipe, the tortellini pastry sheets must be prepared with just flour and eggs and each tortellino must be made from a piece of pastry of 4 cm per side. In reality, like any regional recipe, the filling of tortellini varies from family to family: there are those who use veal or chicken together with pork, those who do not use nutmeg, etc. Moreover, the tortellini were prepared with what the families had available at home. We also have our own recipe for the filling: to make it even tastier we use half veal and half pork loin plus the inevitable Parma ham and Bologna mortadella.
Preparation: 150 min (include 2 hours to rest the pasta)
Cooking: 10 min
Doses for: 6 people
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY (FOR ABOUT 250 TORTELLINI)
- Eggs (about 4) 250 g
- ‘00 flour 400 g
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
- Beef veal minced 70 gr
- Pork loin 70 g
- Parma ham 80 g
- Mortadella of Bologna 80 g
- Parmigiano Reggiano DOP to be grated 150 g
- Butter 20 g
- Large eggs 1
- Nutmeg to be grated to taste
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
To prepare the tortellini, we first prepare the egg pasta: place the flour on a pastry board, forming a large bowl/volcano in the center and add the eggs inside the bowl/volcano of flour. With a fork, break and beat the eggs and as you continue beating, gradually collect the flour from the sides to thicken the dough. Once it is all amalgamated and not too sticky you can then knead with your hands until you get a soft and smooth dough. Once ready cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes (and if you like up to two hours) in a cool place (not the fridge).
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: cut the veal pulp and pork loin into coarse pieces and put them aside; we do the same with raw ham and mortadella. Melt the butter in a pan and add the veal and pork meat in pieces: let it brown for about ten minutes or until it completely loses the juices. Once ready, let it cool, and transfer the meat to a mixer together with the ham and mortadella and blend until you get a fine and well blended mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, pepper to taste and the egg and continue blending to obtain a homogeneous mixture. If necessary, add salt, tasting the filling first, as both the raw ham and the Parmesan cheese are quite salty.
Now that the filling is ready, let’s take the egg pasta back and roll it out with the pasta machine or a rolling pin into thin rectangular sheets, trying to keep the dough as soft as possible, using just a little flour to dust the sheets only if it feels sticky. You need to pass the sheets through the machine several times, reducing the thickness each time. According to the experts, the sheets should be about 0.6 mm. Use a pastry cutter or knife to make clean rectangles (you can use the offcuts and roll them out again) and then cut the dough strips again to make squares of 4 x 4 cm. On top of each square, lay a couple of grams of cold filling and move on to making the tortellini. Take a square and fold the dough into a triangle, point by point, pressing the edges well to make them stick (if the dough has dried slightly, brush the edges lightly with a little water); we take the triangle of dough obtained, fold the base of the triangle upwards; now place the paste obtained on the index finger, with the tip of the triangle facing upwards and with the help of the other hand, join the two ends of the base around the finger with a slight pressure and turning slightly downwards, making sure the edges adhere well. Gently remove the tortellino from the finger and lay it on a lightly floured cloth; we proceed in the same way until the ingredients are finished. Keep unused dough covered while you’re working and make each set of tortellini before rolling new strips. Leave the tortellini in a cool place on a floured cloth and cook them, strictly in a good meat broth!
Menwhile what’s boiling in the pot? A succulent meat broth, one of the basic preparations of our Italian cuisine. Every self-respecting grandmother holds the secret to the perfect broth. We are happy to share our super recipe with you.
Difficulty: Very easy
Preparation: 20 min
Cooking: 180 min
INGREDIENTS FOR 1 Litre OF BROTH:
- Beef shoulder minced 500 g
- Beef steak 400 g
- Beef with bones 400 g
- Celery 60 g
- Carrots 100 g
- White onions 100 g
- Cherry or other fresh tomatoes 150 g
- Water 4 l
- Extra virgin olive oil 40 g
- Cloves 2
- Salt to taste
- Peppercorns 4
To prepare the meat broth we start with the preparation of the vegetables. We wash and dry them carefully. We peel the carrot and cut it into chunks. Then we also cut the celery.
Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the onion, cutting it in half as well.
Fry them together for about 4 minutes in a non-stick pan over high heat, turning them from time to time. Then add them with all the other vegetables in a large, high-sided pan with the olive oil. We flavor with cloves and peppercorns. Pour the bones, minced shoulder and other meat into the pan.
Cover the meat with 3 L of water and let it cook over medium-high heat for about 2 hours, until the broth is reduced by about half. Then add the remaining liter of water and let it cook for another hour over low heat. During this time it will be necessary to foam the broth, that is, we will have to eliminate (skim off) the fat and impurities that will float on the surface. At the end of cooking the broth will be reduced.
At that point we just need to filter the broth so as to separate the liquid from the meat and vegetables: pour the broth back into the pan and salt to season. It is important that we salt when the broth is ready so we can better adjust its flavor.
Now our meat broth is ready and we can cook our tortellini in it!
Enjoy your meal!