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How To Make Tortellini Bolognesi: Family Recipe and Tips

tortellini bolognesi

I love tortellini Bolognesi.

Even if I can’t remember the first time I ate them, I have so many memories about my family and tortellini.

As a child, I remember participating in the wonder of the Sunday lunch, a parade of aromas and flavors. A jubilee of pastas of every shape and size -tortellini, cappelletti, ravioli, gnocchi, passatelli, tagliatelle, strozzapreti.

The love and wisdom of the women of the house made it all special.

Although born in Romagna, or maybe because I was born in the dash that connects the Emilia with the Romagna, tortellini are as much a classic as cappelletti.

I remember well the ‘assembly line’ formed by us cousins of all ages to help fill and close the Christmas tortellini. Among the fresh filled pasta, I have a clear preference.

I love tortellini. Not only them, of course, but I love them.

How To Make Tortellini Bolognesi


When to eat tortellini.

In my home, we eat them year round, except, perhaps a short period between late July-early August where it is simply too hot. But, as soon as the middle of August has past, as far as I’m concerned, its tortellini season again.

How do I eat them? I like them cooked in traditional broth. But also with ragù, and yes, yes with cream, yes, yes. And pasticciati. Seasoned with meat ragu + fresh cream. It’s messy! I know, the purists of the true Bolognese culinary tradition would disagree with me. I’m afraid, but I do it.

To honor the blog name, I thought it right to share my family recipe. But remember, every home has its own recipe.

How to make authentic Tortellini bolognesi and my family recipe.

As with every traditional Italian dish, in every home, there is a classic recipe, one made of established habits and secrets handed down over the years. It’s a recipe that has its roots in the history of the family who passed it through generations, and this must be respected.

If someone is looking for the true, original recipe, you should know that one has been filled away in the chamber of commerce of Bologna. My recipe is no different: all of the ingredients are the same, just differing slightly in quantity.

For traditional tortellini, need to make a traditional filling.
When you’re using a different recipe, you’re not making classic tortellini but untraditional tortellini or ravioli.

Actually ravioli can be filling in many different ways but always are ravioli, not tortellini.

Buona cucina, Monica

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How To Make Tortellini Bolognesi

Food Tips

It may sound difficult, but as with all things, you’ll get better with practice.

One thing to know before you get started: The pasta dough for tortellini, like that for all stuffed pasta, should not be too dry. Therefore, it’s best to have your filling prepared first so that you can begin stuffing once your dough is ready.

Tortellini Bolognesi Recipe

serves 4

for pasta dough (or sfoglia)

g 400 of flour 00
4 eggs

for filling

150 g finely ground pork loin,
50 g Mortadella Bologna PGI,
100 g prosciutto crudo (ham)
110 g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg (or 2 small eggs)
salt and nutmeg to taste


Ask your butcher to finely chop the pork loin, ham and mortadella (this version of tortellini uses the raw pork loin).

Add one whole egg and the parmesan, a little salt and nutmeg (if you like). Mix all of the ingredients well and let it rest.

Pasta Dough

The dough must be rolled very thin, preferably with a rolling pin.

Cut it into squares of 3-4cm, and remember, don’t let it get dry.

Add a bit of the filling to the center of each square, and fold the dough over it, forming a triangle by joining the edges.

Tighten each of the corners of the longest side between the thumb and forefinger, using one hand to rotate the dough to form a loop, and bringing the two corners together.


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