Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

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Cappelletti are shaped somewhat like a bishop’s hat; hence the name, which comes from the Italian word for hat, cappello. In Bologna they are also called tortellini; but in Romagna tortellini are made from little disks instead of little squares making them look more like a belly button than a hat. In fact, there is a legend about how the first round tortellino was created. Once upon a time there was a baker and pasta maker who was secretly and madly in love with a girl who worked for him. Before she started work she would change her clothes in the back room, and one day the owner could not resist the temptation to peek through the keyhole. All he could see was her navel, but he found it so beautiful that he picked up a small round disk of pasta and shaped it like her belly button. The first tortellino was born.

The classic way to serve tortellini is in homemade meat broth. Do not substitute store bought. It would be a shame to take the time to make tortellini and then use store-bought broth. Tortellini are also excellent with heavy cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • Egg Pasta of Emilia Romagna, made with 2 eggs and cups flour
  • 2 ounces lean boneless pork loin
  • 3 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces mortadella
  • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Make the pasta dough.
  2. Cut the pork and chicken into ½-inch chunks. Put the butter and the vegetable oil in a small skillet and place over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, turning as needed, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lift the meat out of the pan and set it aside on a plate. Put the chicken cubes in the pan and cook, turning as needed, until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and set aside with the pork. Season the pork and chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Coarsely chop the mortadella and put it with the pork and chicken in a food processor. Chop to a fine consistency but do not purée. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the ricotta, egg yolk, Parmigiano, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Taste and season with salt if needed. Set aside.
  4. Roll out the pasta dough as described. Cut the sheets into 1½-inch squares. Put just over ¼ teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. Fold the pasta square in half, forming a triangle, then wrap the 2 opposite points around the tip of your index finger forming the shape of a bishop’s hat. Pinch the ends together to seal. As you make them, set the tortellini on a clean dry cloth. Continue the process until all the pasta and filling are used up.


Do not refrigerate and plan on cooking the tortellini within 2 to 3 hours. Otherwise, cook them partially, about 1 minute, then toss with a little vegetable oil, cool, and store in resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator (do not freeze).