Tortellini for Christmas

Tortellini for Christmas

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Tortellini come from Emilia- Romagna – more specifically from Bologna or Modena. The two cities are not very far apart and there’s always an argument about which is the real source of tortellini. Of course I side with the Bolognese. They are little squares of fresh pasta filled with a mixture of meats, pork loin, prosciutto and mortadella (the latter is VERY bolognese) mixed with some Parmigiano-Reggiano and egg. They are then formed into cute little stuffed pasta forms and boiled. Occasionally they are served with a cream sauce although that is considered something of a sin. They should always be served in a good chicken broth, preferably made with a capon according to the purist.

I happened to be at a Centro Sociale near my house with a friend when she pointed out a poster that announced that for about 4 weeks leading up to Christmas on every Monday afternoon there would be a group making tortellini at another Centro Sociale.  She urged me to go and so I did for 3 Monday afternoons and with a bunch of generally senior age women and one man other than me we made tortellini.

I was the only English speaker there but managed just fine. They all thought it kind of cute that American guy was there making tortellini with them.

Making the pasta in the kitchen


One of the work tables


The little squares of pasta with a dab of filling on each


And yes, I made a bunch of tortellini

I told Franco that his tortellini looked like the German army


Mine looked more like the Italian army (I didn’t say that – wouldn’t be very diplomatic).

I’ve ordered some but almost all were already spoken for but I’m on the waiting list and hope to get a half kilo (a little over a pound). It’s a tradition of have tortellini in brodo (broth) for Christmas. If I don’t get some of this batch I’ll buy some in the center of Bologna and take them with me to Torino where I’m going to spend Christmas. If you ever come to Bologna you should really take the opportunity to have some of these in broth. They are available in many of the trattorie all year long although they are especially good in winter when it’s cold outside.

2 Responses to “Tortellini for Christmas”

  1. Marcia Nance Allen Says:

    I love LOVE your glasses. Just a tidbit–John and Mary Nance are both still alive (the last of the W. E. Nance clan), and I’m assuming you know that Jim Bowers died a couple of years ago. I truly enjoy following your blog.

  2. Joe Says:

    It’s nice to hear from you Marcia. I hope that you are enjoying my blog. It’s the first time that I have ever been here at this time of year and I am happy to be in Italy. I’ll send you an email.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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