Tortellini in broth, the Boxing Day dish of Santo Stefano

Dec 17 2022, 08:28 | by Michela Becchi
In Italy on the feast of Santo Stefano (Boxing Day), the most popular dish is undoubtedly tortellini in broth. Here is the recipe.

Tortellini, the dish for Boxing Day

Traditionally in Italy the celebrations also continue on December 26th, on the feast of Santo Stefano (Boxing Day). The most popular recipe is undoubtedly tortellini in broth, a hot dish perfect for colder days. An ancient tale tells that during the 13th century a marquise arrived in Castelfranco Emilia and stopped at an inn called Corona: the host, fascinated by the young woman, after having accompanied her to her room, remained to spy on her through the keyhole. What struck him in particular was her navel and so, back in the kitchen, he decided to take inspiration from the beauty of the marquise giving a new shape to the pasta. But this is just one of the many legends about the birth of tortellini, whose authorship has long been disputed between Bologna and Modena. The recipe for the filling, as always, changes from family to family, while the favorite way of enjoying them in Emilia is swimming in a good meat broth.

Tortellini recipe

Here is the original recipe deposited in 1974 at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture in Bologna.

For the pasta dough

3 eggs

300 g. flour

For the filling

300 g. pork loin browned in butter

300 g. Parma ham

300 g. authentic mortadella di Bologna

400 g. Parmigiano Reggiano

3 eggs

1 nutmeg

Make a volcano with the flour and a hole in the center, drop in the eggs and start beating with a fork, gradually incorporating the flour. Knead the dough for about ten minutes and let it rest. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: chop the meat very finely and add the eggs, grated Parmigiano and grated nutmeg, and leave to rest for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a wooden pasta board with a rolling pin until very thin. Cut squares of about 3 centimeters per side and place a knob of filling on each square. Fold the dough into a triangle by matching the points, and wrap the triangle around your finger. Overlapping the two opposite corners, crimping each tortellino so that the dough sticks firmly.

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