The tortelli di patate are soft, square, yellow ravioli filled with mashed potato cheese, garlic and parsley. They smell like fresh pasta and taste like potatoes.
The traditional quality of this tortello comes from the particular combination of ingredients and the cooking method, which has remained untouched through the ages.
This stuffed pasta has been a part of the Tuscan and Romagnola diet for centuries. In 1400 the poet Pulci, from the court of Lorenzo the Magnificent, wrote:
Ma soprattutto del buon vino ho fede
Credo che sia salvo chi gli crede
Credo nella torta e nel tortello
L’uno è la madre e l’altro il suo figliolo…
(I believe in good wine
Those who drink it will be fine
I believe in cake and the tortello
Mother is one, son is the other…)
The tortello di patate was born from poverty: the filling was made from the first potato harvest in 1800. In fact, the filling is an alternative to the chestnut stuffing used in the Apennine areas.
The use of local potatoes in the making of the tortello give it a smooth quality that is very much appreciated.
For the pasta:
- ½ kg of flour
- 5 eggs
- a pinch of salt.
For the filling:
- 1kg of potatoes
Boil the potatoes with the peel. Mash finely while still hot. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and the stir-fried garlic and parsley.
Roll out the past dough – made from the eggs, flour and salt – into long strips 10 cm wide.
Prepare little balls of filling and place them onto the pasta every 3-5 cm. Fold the pasta onto itself. Press the pasta around the filling by exerting pressure with your fingers.
Trim into shape with the pastry cutter. Press the edges closed with a fork to prevent the filling from falling out during the cooking process.
It is a first dish and can be served with meat sauce made with beef, goose, rabbit, wild boar or mushrooms, and accompanied by a hearty red wine.
Where it is produced
Only two fairly big bakeries prepare tortelli di patate in Mugello. It is, however, served in restaurants, sold in local shops and supermarkets.
Some small producers and restaurants prepare fresh tortelli di patate.
In spring and summer, numerous food fairs offer this specialty.