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Do you know all the Italian stuffed pasta, region by region?
Do you know all the Italian stuffed pasta, region by region?

Untangle yourself in the dark forest of the Italian stuffed pasta it is a company. Titanic.

There are many regional variants and even within a region, a few kilometers away, the same name indicates different things: in comparison, reconstructing the genesis of the subprime mortgage crisis is child's play.

Ravioli called tortelli or anolini, tortellini from Emilia in Romagna called cappelletti, cappelletti called tortelli: a gastro-psychiatric identity crisis stuff).

However, we try, aware that we are already failing, with the certainty that anyone of you who lives in one of the aforementioned regions will have something to say. Be lenient, though.

The tradition of stuffing a pasta with a filling (of meat, cheese, vegetables) is very ancient: for lovers of gastronomic history, suffice it to say that the oldest news dates back to the fourteenth century.

Tastes have definitely changed, the Renaissance was heavy with spices and with combinations of sweet and savory that today even the most extreme experimenters would find risky, while the shapes have more or less remained the same.

Square or rectangular, folded or crescent-shaped, the stuffed pasta is like the being of Parmenides, untouchable certainties from the solidity of the marble. With the difference that marble is much less greedy.

Tortellini | Emilia

tortellini, bologna
tortellini, bologna

7 December 1974: the Confraternity of Tortellino and the Delegation of Bologna of the Italian Academy of Cuisine, deposit the original recipe with a notarial deed. The filling includes: pork loin, raw ham, Bologna mortadella, parmesan, 1 egg, nutmeg.

Obligatory to have a rolling pin and manual skills for a thin sheet, needless to say. In the absence of these elements, a local mother or grandmother is needed, rental is also allowed, with a surcharge for the Christmas period.

AND? necessary, under penalty of forced removal, the accompaniment with broth (capon, beef, hen). Please forget the 80s and the cream. And while we're at it, let's add the maxi straps and fluo eyeshadows.

Although the challenge between Bologna and Modena is historic, we can say that the homeland is Castelfranco Emilia.

The origins are more uncertain, swaying between mythology - the attempt to replicate the navel of Venus, captured in a moment of nudity, legend and pseudo history - marquesas, noblewomen and popes.

If you confirm that the main differences between the Bolognese tortellino and the Modenese one are the size (slightly smaller than the Bolognese) and the way to treat the filling (raw for the Bolognese, cooked for the Modenese), we can continue.

Although putting a nose and fork beyond Emilia Romagna is risky, it still deserves a trip to Veneto. Let's go to Valeggio sul Mincio. The origin is a heartbreaking love story whose protagonists are a soldier and a nymph. And a handkerchief: the love knot.

After having listened to it every time you taste a plate of tortellini - very thin pasta, stuffed with meat, excellent with melted butter and sage, we are sure that you will be satisfied. However, we doubt that you will be satisfied with tortellini.

Tortelli and tortelloni | Val d’Aosta, Lombardy, Emilia, Tuscany

Open up heaven! If you thought that tortellini and the infinite variations were a messy family, in front of your plate of tortelli you just have to shake your head vigorously.

The first traces date back to the 12th century, in the Po Valley-Lombard area. Perfect synthesis between the world of pasta and that of cakes, the tortello is a container of wonders, a Vuitton suitcase made with puff pastry that conceals fillings of all kinds (savory - meat, cured meats, cheeses, vegetables - or sweets - jams., mustards, raisins, candied fruit). A taste?

Let's go with the tortello cremasco: thin pastry, pinched by hand to form crests, has a filling that is influenced by the dominion of the Republic of Venice under which the city of Crema was located: amaretti and mostaccini, egg yolks, raisins, candied citron, candies mint, grated cheese. The dressing is with abundant melted butter and sage.

TO Parma And Piacenza the classic filling includes ricotta and herbs, but you can also find them with meat. Tortelli with herbs are especially typical of Parma. In Piacenza they have a tail (turteil cun la cuà) and the filling is lean. TO Mantua, needless to say, they are an ode to pumpkin, which with amaretti and mustard is Gonzaga's Trimurti.

In Maremma the tortello is included in the Pat list (traditional agri-food product): it has a square shape, dimensions often larger than those of a ravioli and is filled with ricotta, spinach, nutmeg and cheese. It has the "sidewalk", a contour around the filling that makes its shape particular. In Mugello is in the Casentino, meat and herbs are banned.

Here the protagonist is the potato, which, when boiled and combined with Parmesan, nutmeg and salt, transforms a poor dish into a delicious variant. The dressing? A robust meat sauce.

In Val d'Aosta they are square or rectangular filled with spinach or minced veal, in the Marche they have a filling of mountain herbs, in Lucca they are called tordelli and have a filling of herbs, veal and pork, seasoned with meat sauce.

Cappelletti | Emilia, Romagna, Marche


Here is the caplèt. The leaf, larger than the tortellino, is cut into squares or circles. Once the filling is added, the dough is first folded in two in a triangle, then joining the ends around a finger. Easy, right?

The problem is already the stuffing, that is the batù: the provinces are already looking at each other in scowl. Meat? Cheese? Meat and cheese?

The meat one includes pork, veal, beef, or capon and pork, then cheese-ricotta and / or raviggiolo in addition to Parmesan; the "lean" one has only cheese - gravigiolo / squacquerone / stracchino and ricotta.

If you are a purist, invoke the spirit of Pellegrino Artusi. If the spirit is slow to reveal itself, recover "The science of cooking and the art of eating well and go to recipe no. 7 "Cappelletti with the use of Romagna".

Although an army of Azdore is already heating rolling pins - and not to roll out the dough - know that cappelletti exist and are eaten in the Marche too. In addition to cheese, the Marche recipe also includes mixed meat: veal, turkey and pork loin. The meats are stewed with the herbs (celery, carrot and a little onion) then minced. Add eggs, grated aged cheese, nutmeg and grated lemon zest.

Here too, broth.

Cappellacci | Emilia

The cappellacci are the pumpkin ones, by definition. A symbolic dish of Ferrara cuisine, they have recently obtained the IGP recognition from Brussels.

The origins can be found in the Renaissance recipe books of the scalchi at the service of the Este family in Ferrara. The first written recipe of "capla z" (from the wide-brimmed straw hat of the farmers) dates back to 1584 and is by Giovanni Battista Rossetti, cook at the court of Alfonso II d’Este.

The pumpkin usually used is the violin, yellow, sweet and firm, with an elongated shape. After cooking, steamed or baked, its pulp is mixed with Parmesan cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Agnolotti | Piedmont, Lombardy

Agnolotti del plin
Agnolotti del plin

Region of birth? Piedmont. Don't confuse them with ravioli. The shape is similar, but a trained eye will notice that if both are serrated at the edges, one side of the agnolotto remains smooth (corresponds to the side where the filling rests), while the edges of the ravioli are all serrated.

The main difference, however, lies in the filling: the ravioli calls ricotta and herbs, especially in Liguria, while the agnolotto wants mixed cooked beef and pork plus, if desired, leafy vegetables: cabbage, escarole, spinach. But, as you will see below, there are ravioli that also include meat.

The origin of the name is uncertain: from a chef named Angiolino, known as Angelot, who defined the recipe? From the Piedmontese dialect 'anulòt', an iron used to cut pasta in the shape of a ring? It matters little.

Instead, you should know that the filling is made of mixed meats (braised beef, roast chicken breast, roast rabbit, even sausage) made roast.

In the Langhe is in the Monferrato a variant with a melodious and harmonious name awaits you, gli agnolotti del plin. Small and rectangular, they take their name from the pinch used to close them. The filling varies depending on the area, but the classic recipe includes meat and not a lean filling. Their partner? A broth or a meat sauce.

If you pass by Asti, find the "hunchback" waiting for you, while a Tortona they call them gobein, with small humps that make hand-flattened dough on the filling. Rectangular, they are smaller than those made in Monferrato and tastier for the abundant Parmesan.

If you move in Lombardy, here is agnolotti pavesi: you can recognize them by the filling, which in this case is stewed meat.

Anolini, agnolini and marubini | Lombardy, Emilia

A small disc without fringe that joyfully trots between Parma And Piacenza. Ancient origins here too and a battle over the filling, as usual. Supporters of the traditional filling (Parma, Lower Parma, Fidenza) do not want meat, but a mixture of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, grated bread seared in a restricted sauce of overcooked beef or broth, egg yolk and nutmeg to taste.

The rivals, on the other hand, add the minced meat and vegetables from the gravy. The only point of convergence seems to be the broth. In any case, I challenge anyone to fight over a steaming plate.

Don't confuse them with agnolini of Mantua. They are filled with capon meat, grated bread and cheese, but you can also add beef and salami: the square of pasta with the filling in the center is folded diagonally. The edges are pressed, turned backwards and overlapped by pressing them.

If you are a Cremona, variant of the anolini are i marubini.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine has defined its birth around 1500 with a notarial deed. The filling is braised beef with vegetables, roasted veal and scented with sage and rosemary, pork cooked with a sprinkle of white wine, grana padano, eggs, grated bread.

Shape? Round with a jagged edge, in the shape of a triangle and rolled around the finger, but also square and crescent-shaped. Practically chaos.

The broth should be prepared with three different types of meat, cooked separately and mixed only at the end. Take a week off to prepare them and then eat them yourself. After all it's hard to see that guests swallow them in 5 minutes, it's unthinkable.

Ravioli | Liguria and all of Italy


It has been known since the 12th century (a lease contract dated 1178 speaks of it). Legend has it that the ravioli was born in Gavi Ligure, in the inn of the homonymous family. Cited in the chronicles as raviolus or rabila, it also appears in the Decameron.

Filled mainly with lean meat (borage and marjoram, cheese), they are also found with meat stuffing. In Liguria try the ones with the "touch", the meat sauce that simmer for hours.

Zembi with the sprightly | Liguria

On a full moon night, after fasting for a day, get Artemisia powder and a toad. Then rotate on yourself 3 times repeating the words above. The toad will go away by itself and you will have achieved nothing but a great hunger.

And here is where this stuffed pasta with a magical name comes into play: it is white fish ravioli, seasoned with seafood and tomato sauces.

Zembi does not seem to mean hunchbacks, as is believed, but derives from the Arabic zembil (baskets of twisted leaves for transporting fish). The lively is the pungent smell that comes from the green seaweed from the sea. The recipe is as complicated as a magical ritual.

Pansoti | Liguria


Before leaving again (next stop in Sardinia), stop a little longer in Liguria, just enough time to savor regional comedy and a plate of pansoti. Panciuti, hence the name, apparently originate from Rapallo. The filling does not include meat but is made up of a mixture of spontaneous herbs, the "preboggion".

Unless you live on site and do not have these wonderful herbs available, if you really want to replicate them at home, get chard, spinach, borage, or chicory, and catalonia … In short, try, but the result will never be the same.

Another indispensable ingredient, which is why it is really useless to make them at home in any other region of Italy, is the "prescinseua", a slightly acidic fresh cheese. They go well with walnut sauce.

Culurgiones | Sardinia

A short trip by ferry, and here we are in Sardinia, home of the aforementioned. The pasta does not include eggs and the filling (which here too varies from town to town, is now a losing battle) consists of boiled potatoes, onions and mint. In some areas pecorino is added, in others ricotta.

The dressing? After boiling, purists add only pecorino, but tomato or meat sauce is also available. We agree on one thing: the ear closure, a symbol of prosperity and a good harvest.

Schlutzkrapfen | South Tyrol


Since now, from Liguria passing through Sardinia, with unpronounceable names you have become dragons, I will put you to the test with schlutzkrapfen.

Veterans of holidays in South Tyrol know them well: together with Sacher they are the goal of every skier, in winter, and of every hut-goer, the same skier, in the summer version.

The verb schluzen means to slip, actually it is the same action as these ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta they accomplish as soon as they are within reach. The sauce includes melted butter in such quantity as to make you travel all the paths of the Val Pusteria.

Cjarsons | Friuli

We are in Carnia, north of Friuli. The pasta includes flour, water, salt and in some cases potatoes. There is no single recipe: each valley in the area has one or two of its own. Perhaps the simplest distinction is between salty and sweet ones. In any case, the filling does not include meat.

In almost all of them, however, grated smoked ricotta is the final cap, not so much in the filling, but as a condiment.

The rest ranges from vegetables (spinach, potatoes, onions, herbs, chard) to fruit (raisins, cedar, pear, apple, lemon, figs), passing through chocolate and spices (cinnamon).

Boiled in water, they swim in butter. Mountain people hardly earn it, not like some tourists who arrive there, admire the landscape and then get back in the car and leave …

Casonseì and casunziei | Lombardy, Veneto

casonsei and tortelli
casonsei and tortelli

Crescent shape and we agree on this. The first, for the filling, in addition to the usual 3 ounces of gastronomic chaos, include meat, grated Grana Padano and aromatic herbs, but also potatoes and cabbage.

Between Bergamo, Brescia, Val Camonica and the grandmother's kitchen in the last town in the production area, everyone puts what they want into it. They are seasoned with grated Parmesan cheese, butter, bacon and sage.

Easier ones Venetian: the filling requires beets, breadcrumbs and grated cheese. The dressing is with melted butter, grated ricotta and poppy seeds. If you eat them a Curtain, compare the color with that of the Dolomites: the shade of pink is almost the same.

Now, I don't know about you, but at the end of this roundup of stuffed pasta I am at least as melted as the butter used for the toppings. In short, give me a hand: have I forgotten any?

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