My life has begun to revolve around fresh pasta to a disturbing degree lately.
Homemade Tagliatelle with Rabbit Ragu and Squash Tortelli in Butter and Sage Sauce
Rolling Out Tortelli Dough
Filling it with Chard and Ricotta and Folding over the Dough
Asher and Jules Cooking the Wild Mushroom and Tomato Sauces
Homemade Tagliatelle with Fresh Mushrooms
Disturbing and delicious. It culminated last weekend in a festival devoted entirely to sweet tortelli called Tortel Dols. Stuffed fresh egg-based pasta called tortelli are very typical of my region, Emilia-Romagna. The two most common are:
Tortelli di zucca: a savory sweet pasta stuffed with pumpkin, nutmeg and amaretti cookies served in a butter & parmigiano sauce
Tortelli di erbette: tortelli stuffed with ricotta and small amounts of minced chard served in a butter and parmigiano sauce.
(Shaking it up here with some tomato sauce. We’re so innovative.)
The festival last week highlighted a kind of tortelli I’d never seen before: sweet tortelli which is a fresh egg pasta stuffed with quince, sweet squash and marmellata served in what else but a pool of melted butter and parmigiano-reggiano.
I know I’m living in the right place when my town has an entire festival devoted to a dessert pasta. The sweet tortelli festival was the biggest thing to happen to Colorno, well, ever.
Apparently when one celebrates tortelli one celebrates with cooking lessons for kids
demos from grannies (making spicy squash pasta!)
and an open air lunchroom and kitchen.
For a festival devoted to a specific regional dessert pasta, there was an enormous market that was a strange conglomeration of non-food items. There were stalls for underpants, school supplies, bath salts, and fur coats…all the essentials. Buying underpants at an open market is a concept that I’m still adjusting to I have to admit.
The fur coat stall
Buying cheese and sausage from a taxidermied stall is a bit easier for me to understand.
There is even a brotherhood of the squash who wore elaborate embroidered velvet outfits and triangular shaped velvet hats. I have no idea what they do, but any club dedicated to squash is one I wanna be a part of.
The Gran Gala del Tortel Dols
Held Every 2nd Sunday in October
Piazza Garibaldi, Colorno (PR)