“One of Bologna’s truly great delights – a dish based on pasta with filling.” Follow Lesson no. 3 by Maestro Venturi

lesson N°3

From simple pasta to the prince of all filled pastas.

Bologna’s traditions would not be what they are without tortellini. To produce tortellini you must get the egg pasta elasticity just right, and you must also know how to make a perfect filling. A perfect balance between the two is absolutely essential!

There must be hardly any egg pasta at all (less than 2 g). In Bologna, your real tortellino is practically all filling, and nothing else.

Getting to the heart of a tortellino

Monica tells us her recipe, which she has received from the generations of her forebears. Loin of pork (it must be cooked in butter until sufficiently softened), cured crude ham, mortadella sausage, nutmeg and, of course, parmesan cheese!

The ingredients must be absolutely top quality. However, this may not be sufficient. For a truly full-bodied filling you’ll have to mince it twice in your meat mincer.

The only exception to this rule is the mortadella sausage which is homogeneous and very fine. After the filling has been prepared, Monica tells us we must cut the egg pasta into 2 cm by 2 cm squares and deal out the filling.

There is no such thing as an egg pasta specialist who doesn’t know how to perfectly wrap a tortellino.

It’s easy, but it requires a lot of practice.

1. Close the square sheet to form a triangle. Seal the egg pasta firmly with your fingers.

2. Pinch a “flap” from the triangle using your finger and thumb. Your thumb must point upward and your index finger must point toward the wooden board.

3. When slightly pressing down the “flap”, turn your finger and thumb 180° until your thumb points down toward the board.

4. Close the second “flap” down under the tortellino’s “belly”.

Repeat this exercise as practice until you get the filling procedure exactly right, with the filling and the tortellino small enough. Don’t get upset if you fail, Monica tells us. Be patient! When she was a little girl, she was really rather clumsy herself...

Download the “tortellini filling recipe” memo.


A little practice, then the chef's master touch.

Monica's Samsung Maestros Academy course provides us with an opportunity to get to know top chef Davide Oldani and his POP cuisine. Monica felt greatly honoured to have this opportunity to meet Davide, and Davide was greatly impressed by the ability of this 'mistress of the rolling pin'. So they agreed to exchange places. The result? An exquisite ricotta cream cheese tortello dish with a walnut sauce.

Gallery

the egg pasta specialist course

Eight appointments, during which Monica Venturi reveals the secrets behind great Bolognese specialities such as tagliatelle, tortellini, tortelloni and passatelli.

Find out more

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the programme

the programme

  • 29_01_2014 29_01_2014
  • 05_02_2014 05_02_2014
  • 12_02_2014 12_02_2014
  • 19_02_2014 19_02_2014
  • 26_02_2014 26_02_2014
  • 05_03_2014 05_03_2014
  • 12_03_2014 12_03_2014
  • 19_03_2014 19_03_2014

Lesson n° 1

Top quality ingredients and the perfect egg pasta mixture. The secrets behind malleable, elastic egg pasta and the techniques for use of the rolling pin. Get the basics that’ll turn you into a true egg pasta specialist, and learn perhaps just a little more than just the basics and essentials. Knowing when flour “falls in love”, for example!

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Lesson n° 2

Egg pasta rolling and all types of simple pasta: tagliolini da brodo (thin noodles for serving in clear soup), tagliatelle for cream and ham sauces, tagliatelle for ragout/Bolognaise sauce, pappardelle (a broad ribbon pasta), quadrucci (small pieces for serving in clear soup) and maltagliati (rough-cut pasta sheet). There is an ideal egg pasta each sauce.

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Lesson n° 3

Discover the secrets behind one of Bologna’s truly great dishes − tortellini. Ingredients for prime quality fillings and methods for wrapping the egg pasta around the filling. How to perfectly cook this simple, nutritious dish.

Lesson n° 4

Now comes the star dish on the day of abstinence, or “giorno di magro” − tortelloni. Striking the ideal balance between delicacy and character. How to perfectly seal the egg pasta so none of the filling escapes when boiled. Tips, and today’s recipe ideas.

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Lesson n° 5

The triumph of tradition, layer upon layer – the legendary Bologna style lasagne. How to prepare green egg pasta. The secrets behind a perfect ragout/Bolognaise sauce and bechamel white sauce. How to lay out the sheets for compact, delicious lasagne.

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Lesson n° 6

Now that we know all about tortelloni, it’s time we experimented with new favours, such as pumpkin/gourd filling, ricotta (a cottage cheese) and pears, and many and many “variations on the theme”. Let’s round off with the real secret of all true egg pasta specialists – the form of the pasta must be adapted to the characteristics of the filling.

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Lesson n° 7

All about passatelli (a kind of parmesan dumpling) – the utensils you need in order to “strain” the mixture. Plus traditional ingredients and recipes. Bring the family around the table! It’s great fun for all. Kids too!

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Lesson n° 8

Last but anything but least, “raviole” (sweet ravioli). Raviole are a treat derived from the art of egg pasta preparation and from the traditional rice cake, or torta di riso. The ingredients are simple. The flavour is genuine. The secrets of a cuisine that goes back many hundreds of years.

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