Homemade tortellini

Homemade tortellini is a one of those recipe that screams Winter Holidays.. or Sundays with large family gatherings.

Homemade tortellini is definitely a recipe for those who want spend some time in the kitchen. If you enjoy spending time hands-on in the kitchen, this is  for you!

In many places throughout Italy, tortellini “in brodo” (with broth) is a must on Christmas, however you can also choose to boil, drain and season them with some melted butter and sage or with a delicate tomato sauce.
This is the perfect recipe you can prepare in very large batches, in order to freeze it and keep it ready to eat.

Health facts and meat-free homemade tortellini

Homemade tortellini are traditionally filled with meat, a mix of prosciutto, pork, veal or beef and mortadella, however you can make a vegetarian version. First try to use a filling made with ricotta and spinach or chards, or use potatoes and vegetables. Those options are tasty and flavorful as meat, however they are not very suitable for cooking tortellini in brodo.

Choosing a vegetarian option will certainly improve the nutrients in the pasta, you’ll be able to add fibers and other antioxidant compounds and, at the same time, reduce the fat content. You can also choose to prepare the pasta with whole wheat flour or a mix of white and whole wheat to increase the fiber content.

If you are vegan, you can still enjoy homemade tortellini! prepare your home made pasta with water instead of eggs and use potatoes and spinach, or potatoes and pumpkin to fill the pasta.

To make the pasta that wraps your meat filling, you need to follow the instruction and prepare your home made fresh pasta according to the direction in my other article.

The following recipe is not the traditional Tortellini alla Bolgonese recipe, it’s a little lighter in the filling but works perfectly with all seasoning.

TIP: if you freeze them they will keep for up to 6 months, when you’re ready, simply toss them into hot – not boiling- water to avoid the filling to spill out.

homemade tortellini fresh pasta

Learn how to make homemade tortellini

Ingredients for the pasta

For 4/5 servings you will need :

  • 3eggs
  • 300gr superfine durum wheat semolina (use all purpose flour if you cannot find durum wheat semolina)

Ingredients for the filling

  • 20gr Italian or Spanish prosciutto
  • 100gr minced pork
  • 50gr parmigiano
  • 1 italian sausage
  • salt and pepper

For the chicken broth:

  • Chicken bones
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamom seeds
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk cellery
  • 1 onion


Step 1
Start with making the broth: in a large pot put all the ingredients for the broth, turn the heat on and bring it to a boil. Skim the scum and reduce the hit, and then simmer for at least 2 and a half hours.

TIP: you can brown the chicken bones in the oven with a little oil for 30 minutes, as a result the broth will be tastier.

Step 2
Prepare the pasta following the recipe on How to make home made pasta using the three eggs instead of four.

Step 3
Now prepare the filling: In a food processor put the prosciutto, minced pork, parmigiano, sausage a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn the processor on and mix evenly. You can add muscat if you like.

homemade tortellini

Step 4
Flatten the dough (2mm) and cut it into 4/5cm squares. The smaller the squares, the hardest is to seal the pasta, so if you’re not expert you may want to cut larger squares in order to prepare bigger tortellini. As you get used to the preparation you can make them smaller. Experienced tortellini maker in Bologna cut it into 2cm squares!

Step 5
HOW TO CLOSE TORTELLINI: Pour half tsp of filling onto each square, lightly wet the sides to close them properly. After that take the square of pasta with the filling on one hand. Fold it to make a triangle. Push the sides to seal them. Now seal together the two angles on the base of the triangle, keeping your finger inside to create the hole.

Step 6
When the broth is ready, pour it into a smaller pan, using a sieve to remove the seasoning and the veggies. (don’t discard them! you can use it to prepare a light veggies veloutè, with some crunchy bacon on it, or parmigiano or whatever you like) Bring the broth to a boil and cook the tortellini for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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