Our brand new guide to Italy’s regional stuffed pasta dishes.
Not only does the handmade La Tua Pasta we now supply include delicious stuffed pastas, from fresh Asparagus Tortelloni and light and tangy Pea & Mint Tortellini, to sumptuous Beetroot & Goat Cheese Ravioli and even vegan-friendly artichoke ravioli, they’ve now inspired our guide below, which takes a look at some of some of Italy’s other exciting stuffed pasta variations - unique regional recipes sure to get the taste-buds tingling and creative juices flowing.
Stuffed pasta, or pasta ripiena as the Italians know it, is predominantly found in the country’s northern regions, where the simplest original examples (still cooked today) were made from one round or square sheet of fresh pasta folded over a morsel of local vegetables, meat or cheese and sealed into a rough triangle or crescent. These were often cooked and then served in a warming broth, such as our first example below, from the famous northern region of Emilia-Romagna.
Tortellini in brood from Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna is the region in which filled pasta is perhaps most popular, and tortellini is arguably the area’s most famous pasta dish. These succulent mouthfuls are stuffed with a pig-rich mixture of pork, mortadella sausage, prosciutto, parmesan, and a pinch of nutmeg. For a little more meaty goodness, the tortellini themselves are usually poached and served in a clear beef broth.
Pansotti from Liguria
Typically found served around the regions capital Genova and areas to the city’s south, pansotti are the antithesis of tortellini in brood, being an entirely vegetarian in their content. These triangle or mezzelune (half-moons) shaped pastas and traditionally contain a mix of parmesan, ricotta, spinach and a mixture of fresh local herbs and leaves known as preboggion. These are all found growing wild along the Ligurian coast and can include, borage, chicory, rocket, endive, marjoram and others. Despite subtle variations in the inexpensive preboggion mixture, this delicious peasant food is always served with an equally cheap and filling sauce made of milk-soaked bread, crushed walnuts and olive oil.
Schlutzkrapfen from Trentino-South Tyrol
The fact the name of this filling pasta, sounds more Austrian than Italian tells you just how far north this regional variation can be found. Usually, it’s mozarella or ricotta chees, onion, and potato often with additions of spinach or mushrooms that form the insides of the a crescent-shaped ravioli, also known as Mezzelune, which are distinguished by using a mix of buckwheat and durum semolina for their pasta. Butter, chopped chives, and parmesan are often used as a simple finish to the dish.
Culurgiones from Sardinia
These crimped pockets originate in Ogliastra, an eastern coastal region of the island of Sardinia, yet they look more like tiny Cornish pasties than ravioli. Among the wide range of ingredients you’re likely to find stuffing culurgiones, the most traditional recipe uses a filling of crushed potatoes, mint, and garlic, which are paired with a simple tomato sauce.
Casonseì from Lombardy
Popular throughout the Lombardy region, these little pasta parcels made from two sheets twisted together to resemble small wrapped sweets, are a particular favourite of the Venetians. You’ll find delicious morsels stuffed with shredded pork, or raisins and Grana Padano cheese, pureed beets and ricotta or even pears and crushed amaretti biscuits. Yet regardless of the diversity of these they are almost always tossed in a rich, browned butter and poppy seed sauce.
Cjalsons from Friuli Venezia Giulia
From Italy’s most north-easterly region, bordering both Austria and Slovenia comes a sweet stuffed pasta as intriguing as this cultural borderland. This semi-circular, native friulana pasta has many different filling recipies but is most famous for its agrodolce (sweet and sour) stuffings featuring raisins and spices. The recipe that’s most popularly shared recommends them to be filled with ricotta, raisins, bitter chocolate, and candied lemon, and served with smoked, grated ricotta and butter.
Tortelli di patate from Tuscany
This truly rib-sticking dish is designed to satisfy the largest of appetites, as square parcels like super-size ravioli are stuffed with a mix of mashed potato, onions sautéed in smoked lard, parmesan, garlic and often a little chopped fresh rosemary. They can be served simply with better and more grated parmesan, a porcini mushroom sauce, or for the full appetite-slaying blowout, they are frequently dished up having been folded into a rich, meat ragu.