Tortellini Recipe. The real one, from the Confraternita del Tortellino.
DISCLAIMER: This is probably one of the hardest thing we’ve ever attempted in the kitchen. Not the recipe in itself, that’s easy. The making of the tortellino is what takes time and practice, and surely after a hundred or so, they are going to be much prettier than the first.
Our great grandmother Elsa's tortellini were famous: in December she would spend the entire month to make thousands of them, as gift to her neighbours, relatives, and whoever was kind enough to ask for some. There are not many details we remember except for these:
She rolled the pasta herself, with a huge rolling pin. She would go around the table, and the sheet of pasta would fold down, like a table cloth. It would not break, or stretch. It was soft, silky and paper thin.
The tortellini were incredibly small. That’s why we used a penny to show the real size. They were not bigger than that.
They were incredibly good raw as much as they were cooked in broth. And we used to get yelled at because we were stealing them before it was lunch time.
As for the recipe in itself, we don’t have it so we used the original recipe from the “Brotherhood of Tortellino”, officially registered by a lawyer, instead. Here it goes.
Ingredients for 300 tortellini (mind you, this depends on their size) for 10 people
For the filling
100g Pork Loin
100g Prosciutto Crudo di Parma
150g Parmesan - grated
For the Pasta
For the filling: heat up some butter in a pan, braise the pork loin till cooked. Let cool. The original recipe calls for “hand mincing” the pork, as well as the prosciutto and mortadella. We did it this way, it took forever. We suggest you to use a food processor, make sure not to over blend it. A grain like consistency is what you are aiming for. Add the egg, the nutmeg and place in the fridge.
For the pasta: place the flour in a fountain like shape, egg in the middle. Incorporate the flour with the egg, then knead the pasta until smooth. Place in a plastic bag, air tight, let rest for half an hour.
The next steps are crucial to make the process a bit smoother and more enjoyable. First of all, decide how big you want your tortellini to be. The original recipe calls for a square with a 3cm side, but you can try to make some samples with different sizes, to see what you are more comfortable with. The quantity of filling is proportionate to the size of the pasta, for a 3cm square, we used 1-1,5g of filling.
Prepare the filling in line, trying to make it consistent. Roll the pasta as thin as you can, cut it in squares that are as similar to each other as possible. Place the filling.
Now the folding of the Tortellino: fold the square to make a triangle, letting the edges “combacing” to each other. Roll the tortellino around your little finger, placing the two opposite angles on top of each other. Repeat.
Couple of suggestions: roll the pasta as you go, otherwise it will dry up and be very difficult to close the tortellini. Leave the filling in the fridge when not using.
Now how to cook these little wonders? You can make a delicious broth (that’s how great granny Elsa made them), or heat up some butter with sage. Either way, they are going to disappear in second. Trust us on this.