Tortelli di Patate

Tortelli di Patate

What is Tortello?

It is a term that indicates certain types of pasta with a sweet or savoury filling, which can be traced back to the root word 'torta'.

History of Tortello in Italy

A stuffed pasta, generally with lean meat, tortelli is a centuries-old pasta tradition and is mentioned in Italian cookbooks from as early as 1300. In many areas of Emilia-Romagna, tortelli are pastas filled with ricotta and spinach or chard; in the Mantuan area, the filling is pumpkin and amaretti; in the province of Cremona there are tortelli with a sweet fillings; local variations are however endless. Sweet fried pastries are instead the Milanese tortelli di Carnevale and San Giuseppe, and then there are the excellent potato tortelli, widespread in Emilia and Tuscany.

Mugello potato tortello

In Tuscany, potato tortelli are the heritage of the Mugello area, where the villages still compete in festivals in search of the best version. Each family prepares them differently, but in general the most popular is the filling with garlic, parsley, olive oil, nutmeg, pancetta and tomato paste.

Ingredients for the dough

Wheat flour


Olive oil



Ingredients for the filling

Potatoes (preferably yellow potatoes)


Smoked bacon





Tomato concentrate

Sauces to accompany the potato tortello

To season the dish, meat sauce is almost obligatory. An exception is only made during the porcini season, when a mushroom sauce is prepared. 


Emilian potato tortello

The classic potato tortello about a century ago was enriched (because of the young women who were forced to emigrate from the misery of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to northern Italy to serve as maids in aristocratic homes) with amaretti biscuits and rum, most likely reminding them of the pumpkin tortello which was popular in the Po Valley but unknown in the mountains, where the only raw material used was potatoes.

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