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Tortellini, and their almost equivalent, cappelletti, are to many of us the royal jewels of the pasta scene. They are "pasta cakes", small pasta nuggets filled with various ingredients, usually cheese or meat.

Created in Bologna (or Modena or both), they are the traditional dish of Christmas Day.

Tortellini are usually slightly smaller, and rounder. Cappelletti (little hats) have a top that curls outward, giving them the three-cornered cap appearance. Whatever, they both are delightful.

Two classic dishes are tortellini all panna, with butter and cream, and alla Bolognese, with the classic Bolognese ragu. Sensational.

Tortelloni can be either larger tortellini, or, sometimes, simply large squares of filled pasta.

You can make your own, which can be a wonderful pleasure, (see how to make tortellini) or if you are in areas with gourmet Italian food shops, it might be possible to buy these freshly-made little pasta cakes already prepared, with generally a choice of fillings.





if making your own, start here:

how to make tortellini

three basic recipes:

tortellini all panna

tortellini in brodo

tortellini in parmesan broth

tortellini presto (terrific!)


tortellini in a porcini mushroom sauce



cheese filling

meat filling

meat and spinach filling


plus an extra:

tortellini in a basil and tomato brodo


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