These evolved from one of the classics of the Bolognese repertoire, tortelloni di ricotta e prezzemolo, large tortelli stuffed with ricotta and parsley. We have a lot of mint growing on our terrace that needs little encouragement to multiply, and in looking for ways to use it, I thought of substituting it for the parsley in the tortelloni’s stuffing. We grow several varieties, from the sweet Roman mentuccia to spicy peppermint, menta peperita. Each has its distinctive aroma, but all of them work well here.
Mint has a more high-pitched fragrance than parsley, and to keep it from making too strident a solo I rounded it out with onion and garlic. I chose tomato for the sauce because mint gets on so well with it. The aromas of the sauce needed reinforcement at the bottom of their register, so I added the more profoundly scented bay leaves to do the job. This has the briskest, lightest flavor of any stuffed pasta I know, welcome at any time, but particularly in summer.