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Do tortellini only go in broth? Not really, here are 20 different versions of Bolognese chefs

While the feasts of the patron saint are celebrated indoors from the Church of San Petronio, a few meters away, in the halls of Palazzo Re Enzo, a secular ceremony is celebrated entirely dedicated to the tortellino. For 10 years, the Tour-Tlen association has brought together many renowned Bolognese chefs called upon to interpret Italy’s most famous stuffed pasta in their own way. There are those who offer the more classic version in broth, but most of them leave room for the imagination and create small chests with new and unexpected flavors. The most popular versions of these tortellini have become so popular that some chefs have to offer them again in all editions of Tour-tlen and put them permanently on the menu of their restaurants.

We are very far from the controversy of three years ago, which many remember, on the “welcome tortellini” stuffed with chicken wanted by the Committee of Petronian Manifestations of Bologna for those who did not want or could not eat pork. These few chicken tortellini were a gesture of integration of a city that has never excluded anyone, but they were set up by politics and by “gastropurists” because they distorted a beautiful and ancient tradition, even an institution Bolognese. Looking at the huge line of people trying to enter the Palazzo Re Enzo, it is easy to guess that the Petronios were the first to appreciate the variations on the theme and consider them less and less heresy.

As everyone knows, the filling of traditional tortellini is made with pork loin, raw ham, mortadella, parmesan, egg and nutmeg, as sanctioned by the recipe filed with the local Chamber of Commerce on December 7, 1974 and reaffirmed by the recognition of the De.Co. (name of the municipality) last year which has taken a new step by highlighting the value of the supply chain of products used according to the principles of traceability, sustainability and ethics. While the traditional Bologna tortellino is increasingly protected, you can give free rein to your creativity by playing with shapes and ingredients for gourmet and whimsical solutions. They won’t be “tortellini alla Bolognese” but they are certainly tortellini made in Bologna by the best Bolognese chefs. And it’s not cheap.

They range from broth superclassics offered by various restaurateurs, like Lucia Antonelli, the queen of tortellini, with just as canonical, but served in a bean broth, by Carlo Alberto Borsarini, president of the Tour-tlen association, who evokes an old recipe from the Emilian countryside. Speaking of classics, there are also Cesarina’s cream tortellini, a true Petronian institution: the owner Cesarina Masi, the very emblem of Bologna in the kitchen, invented them in the early 1940s in the family trattoria, then brought into his restaurant. .in Piazza Santo Stefano where they are still served today.

The tortellini with limited guinea fowl broth also plays on the thread of tradition and the truffle-scented hay with barbera spherification by Vincenzo Vottero, a solution that recalls the intense aroma of some old consommés, or those concentrated broths that are now made in very little and that were a real hallmark of this dish . If the most heretical were to be elected, we could concentrate on those of Francesco Carboni’s Acqua pazza with his sea tortellini stuffed with sea bass and sea urchin, creamed with Normandy butter, mantis shrimp and glasswort, which surprise by their clear and brilliant taste, one of the most successful interpretations of this event.

There is no shortage of Venus boxes, delicious timbales in individual portions of savory tortelli from the Bentivoglio winery, or those in a restricted broth of porcini mushrooms, pumpkin, saba and parmesan cream from Darcy (formerly Officina del Gusto) which will open soon in Strada Maggiore. It is therefore impossible not to have fun with Demis Aleotti’s interpretation of the Christmas lunch (announced as the next Michelin guide entry) with his tortellini topped with cream of milk, roasted speck and grilled bagigi – or salted peanuts – which represent the classic end-of-holiday meal.

The coexistence of the traditional tortellino (sacred and untouchable, please) with the other vaguely heretical versions, demonstrates that Bolognese cuisine, when it wants to, knows how to rethink itself and see beyond the rigidity of those who want a dish that is always the same as it- same, reproduced ad infinitum. Fortunately, gastronomy teaches us that, while keeping the bar firm on the most famous traditions, it is beautiful, healthy and fun to think outside the box to experiment and innovate.

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