Tortelli di Verza (Savoy Cabbage Tortelli)

Ravioli and all other shapes of stuffed pasta are my signature dish, so I am always excited when I see a new traditional recipe that I did not know yet. Like the savoy cabbage tortelli I saw on Simona’s blog Grembiula da Cucina. She is from the region of Reggiana, part of Emilia-Romagna, and writes about the recipes from her region. Tortelli are the typical stuffed pasta shape from that region, but if you prefer the recipe would also be fine for regular square ravioli. I followed Simona’s recipe almost exactly, except that I braised the cabbage rather than boiling it. In this way, more of the flavor is preserved. These tortelli are very flavorful and worth the effort. Once you’ve made your own stuffed fresh pasta, you’ll never go back to the supermarket version (which often tastes like cardboard).

Ingredients

Makes about 40 tortelli

250 grams (.55 lb) cleaned and shredded savoy cabbage

1 clove garlic, minced

100 grams (3.5 oz) pancetta, minced

1 shallot, minced

100 grams (a bit less than 1/2 cup) ricotta

20 grams (4 Tbsp) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

1 Tbsp olive oil

some milk (or white wine or water)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh pasta dough from 3 eggs and about 300 grams (2 cups) Italian 00 flour

butter and freshly grated parmigiano, for serving

Instructions

Remove the tough central rib from the cabbage leaves, and shred the cabbage. You will need 250 grams of cabbage after cleaning.

Mince the shallot, pancetta, and garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the pancetta mixture.

Stir over medium heat until the shallot is soft.

Add the shredded cabbage, and season with a bit of salt.

Stir until the cabbage is coated with oil.

Now add some milk (or white wine or water)…

…and cover. Braise the cabbage over medium-low heat until it is tender but firm to the bite…

…which will take about 25 minutes. Stir regularly for even cooking. Allow the cabbage to cool somewhat.

Combine the cabbage with ricotta and freshly grated parmigiano in a bowl.

Stir to mix. Then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, remembering that tortelli filling tasted by itself should always be slightly more salty than you think because it will seem less salty inside the tortelli.

Cover the filling and allow to firm up in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, make the pasta dough, allow it to rest, and roll it out very thinly. Cut it into squares of about 6 cm (2 1/2 inch), and put a teaspoon of filling on the center of each square.

Fold each square into a triangle and seal by pressing with your fingers, making sure there is no air trapped inside a tortello.

Wrap the triangle around your finger and press the two angles together to obtain the shape of a tortello.

Repeat this until you have used up all of the dough. You can find more tips on how to make stuffed pasta here.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the tortelli.

Meanwhile, melt some butter.

The tortelli only need a couple of minutes. Lift them out of the water with a strainer, and add them to the melted butter.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano once you have lifted all of the tortelli out of the pot.

Toss to coat the tortelli with butter and parmigiano.

Serve on preheated plates, sprinkled with some more freshly grated parmigiano.

Flashback

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Just like each region in Italy has its own recipe(s) for stuffed pasta, each region also has its own ragù. The one from Liguria is called il tocco and it has pine nuts and dried porcini mushrooms in it.

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6 thoughts on “Tortelli di Verza (Savoy Cabbage Tortelli)

  1. Stefan – this appeals big-time and will be made soonest as a weekend treat! Actually I know ahead how they will taste – have mentioned before that in the Baltics we could not live without ‘pirukad’ pr ‘piroshki’ or call them what you will for all party occasions: tiny handpies baked or deep-fried. Well cabbage and speck always was my favourite filling and making this originating in central Italy kind’of will be like ‘going back home’ 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful idea. In this household we are always happy to eat cabbage, and we are always looking for new delicious ways of preparing it. This is very appealing. Now… to find some time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so right about store-bought tortellini, it is awful; I bought a package a couple of months ago for a quick lunch and had to throw it out, the filling, although cheese had a sweetness to it like they had added sugar. It was horrendous!
    The cabbage filling is something Hungarian’s would like. My dear Mom used to make a savoury cabbage strudel that was wonderful. Homemade pasta is definitely the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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