Introduction: How to Make Tortellini From Scratch

Picture of How to Make Tortellini From Scratch

If I should choose any food that I must eat everyday for the rest of my life, well, it's definitely Tortellini!
They are typical of my hometown, Bologna (actually my "home-province" lol) so I've been eating them since I was very, very little...I never get tired of them and I could never live without eating them! :D

I am writing this instructable to teach you how to make tortellini from scratch!

It may take some time to make them, but believe me, it's worth it...
You can't compare these homemade tortellini to the already made ones. I am sure you know what I mean if you taste them!

ps: these are the original Tortellini Emiliani. You can call them tortellini because of this filling. The ones with a different kind of filling have a different name.

Step 1: Ingredients

For the dough:
  • 5 eggs
  • 500 gr (2 cups) flour
  • olive oil
For 600gr (21,16 oz) of filling:
  • 200 gr (7 oz) pork loin
  • 100 gr (3.52 oz) mortadella
  • 100 gr (3.52 oz) prosciutto
  • 100 gr (1 cup) grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • nutmeg
  • salt

Step 2:

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First of all prepare the filling.

Unfortunately I have no pictures for this but it's very easy to make:

grind your pork loin with mortadella and prosciutto at least 3 times.
Add the eggs and parmesan then a little bit of nutmeg and salt. 
Mix everything and you are done!

Taste it to make sure that it's alright, you may need to add more salt.
Now put it aside for a while.

Prepare your flour on a table (or in a bowl, if you prefer), make a hole in the middle of the "fountain" and add your 5 eggs to it and a little bit of olive oil. Just like I said in the Lasagne recipe, oil will make the egg pasta more elastic.

Start to mix everything using a fork then incorporate the rest of the flour with your hands.
Keep mixing until your dough becomes smooth and homogeneous.

Step 3:

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Now you need to work with a little quantity of dough at a time, so cut a piece and cover the rest with a bowl, so that it won't dry.

Pass your piece of dough through the largest level of your pasta machine.
You may need to pass it more than once at first to give a better shape to it.

Gradually pass it through the other levels to make it thinner and thinner, until you reach the penultimate one (6th one).
Pass it through that one twice.
Of course, dust with flour whenever your dough gets sticky.

Now you have a long rectangle of pasta!
Cut it in many little squares with a knife, about 4cm (1.57 inches) large.
They don't have to be perfect so don't worry about it.

Step 4:

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It's time to take your filling now!

Put a little piece of filling on all your squares.
The more you put, the harder closing them will be, so it's better if you start with a little quantity.
Just try it, then you will understand what the best quantity will be for you! :)

I tend to put as much filling as possible because I like to taste it when I eat them lol :D

Now I will try to explain how to close them properly to give them the right shape:

take one of your squares with the filling on it.
Close the square joining 2 opposite angles together. This way you will create a triangle.
Press its sides to secure them.
Leave the middle angle of the triangle on top and join the sides angles together, bringing them in front of the "belly" of the tortellino :)
The tradition is to pass them around your index finger while you close them, or even better, around the pinky! This way the hole will be smaller.
Press them too to secure.

I hope the pictures make it clear in case my explanation makes no sense :D

A tortellino is done! But you will have to make many more now... :D
Don't worry, you will get faster as you get used to it!

Once you have finished to close all your squares, take another piece of dough, pass it through the pasta machine, cut squares and make new tortellini!

Hint: place them on a cardboard tray so that they won't stick to the container.

Step 5: Don't Want to Cook Them Right Away?

Picture of Don't Want to Cook Them Right Away?

If you don't cook them that same day, put the tray in a freezer for a few minutes, until your tortellini get cold enough to be stored inside a plastic bag.
Once they are there you can keep them for many days (even weeks) and cook them whenever you want!

I usually organize a day to make many, this way I have plenty and can eat them whenever I need to eat them :D

Tradition here is to eat tortellini in a good meat broth...but you can actually eat them in many different ways!
Anyhow, I always recommend cooking them in a simple broth even if you will eat them with a sauce. Broth will preserve the filling's taste.
Oh and by the way, as soon as they come up it means that they are ready! So don't cook them too much, it takes just a few minutes!

Enjoy your tortellini!!


Woodbaron (author)2017-02-13

My wife and I just finished our first attempt at making these. They may not look pretty but with any luck they'll hold together and taste good :) I will say that i had issues with the dough being too sticky at the beginning, but i kept adding small amounts of flour and working it in until i could kneed it better. I may have to invest a pasta machine though :)

spunk (author)2014-07-28

They look amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

I really want to make Tortellini right now :) - If I only had some spare time...

They are on top of to my to-do list now.

lindarose92 (author)spunk2014-07-28

I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you!! :D

Make sure to make many when you have some spare time so you can freeze them and have them for a while! :)

mtristano (author)2014-01-03

Your recipe looks great and I want to try it but I have a dumb question- do you pre-cook the filling? It doesn't really look cooked in the pictures so I don't know what to do!

lindarose92 (author)mtristano2014-01-04

No, this filling is not precooked. There is actually another version of this same filling where the meat is cooked in a pan with spices before mixing it with the other ingredients but I've never tried it. I'm very satisfied with this one though, it tastes really good :)

ps: people who grew up making tortellini like I did, know that it's impossible to make them without eating some raw filling alone or inside the tortellino...yes, it's THAT good! :D

stefano.gadget (author)2013-06-29

Quindi hai vinto? Sei la meglio?

Non esageriamo! :D Comunque sì, ho vinto il grand prize :)

NordicRaven (author)2013-06-21

My favorite food. Now I can make it myself. Thank you for this instructable.

lindarose92 (author)NordicRaven2013-06-21

You're welcome! It's my favorite food too, let me know how they turn out :)

bajablue (author)2013-05-30


lindarose92 (author)bajablue2013-05-30

Aaaw thank youuu!!! :)

Peris The Majestic (author)2013-05-22


Grazieeee!!! :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-05-21

OMG are a grand prize winner :). WOW. Many Congratulations!!!!!!!. Awesome :)

Thank you again!! I am so happy and honored!!! :)

icsnerdics (author)2013-05-21


lindarose92 (author)icsnerdics2013-05-21

haha esatto! :D

andrea biffi (author)2013-05-21


lindarose92 (author)andrea biffi2013-05-21


Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2013-05-18

Oh, I think I'm becoming a fortune teller! when you posted this ible, I knew it was a winner :) congrats!

haha thank youuu!!! :D

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-05-18

Congratulations!!!!!! You are a winner. I am so happy that people I am following are winning many contests :)

Aw thank you! I bet that you will win many more!! :)

customrobo (author)2013-05-11

bellissimi sti tortellini! adoro fare la pasta ma i tortellini non li faccio mai... troppo sbattimento farli! XD

lindarose92 (author)customrobo2013-05-11

haha non hai tutti i torti!! Io di solito mi organizzo un pomeriggio in cui ne faccio molti così sono a posto per un po'! :D

customrobo (author)lindarose922013-05-11

ma poi li fai seccare o li surgeli?

lindarose92 (author)customrobo2013-05-11

Li surgelo...così facendo mi duranno parecchio e una volta cotti sono come appena fatti :)

S-Wijnie (author)2013-05-05

Thank you for your accurate and good described recipe! I sometimes use just a little bit cream when the filling is too firm (tip from chef Giorgio Locatelli). Combined with some grated black truffle over the dish and a suited good wine, this recipe is so delicious. Thanx again!

lindarose92 (author)S-Wijnie2013-05-05

Thank You, I am glad you like it so much! :)

Stone_UFO (author)2013-05-04

that looks awesome

lindarose92 (author)Stone_UFO2013-05-05

Thank you!! :)

laxap (author)2013-05-04

I need to make some!
I occasionally make ravioli, and i think tortellini are even simpler.

IMHO "grana duro" is the best flour for the purpose, do you agree?

lindarose92 (author)laxap2013-05-04

Well, it depends...grano duro flour will make your dough harder (after all it means hard wheat). I always use 00 flour and works fine for me, it's softer and elastic, in fact it's made with "soft" wheat which is grano tenero in Italian.
It's up to you anyway, you could even use 50% of one and 50% of the other one! :)

laxap (author)lindarose922013-05-04

OK thanks. So I may use 50/50 duro/standard for tortellini so they're still a bit tender (and because in Switzerland it's not very easy to get varieties of flours), and 100% duro for tagliatelle (BTW tagliatelles are so a mess to make, need to be hung one by one to dry, I probably won't do again).

lindarose92 (author)laxap2013-05-04

haha I know what you mean, you could even leave them on a wood table and let them dry for a while, you don't need to hang them...the reason why you should let them dry is because they would stick together if the dough is still too fresh. So dry them enough not to be doesn't take too long :)
You could even start to cut them sooner to see if they are dry enough...if they are, you can continue, if they are not leave them there for a little more.
They are actually one of the easiest kind of pasta to make!

laxap (author)lindarose922013-05-04

You mean, to let them dry a bit before cutting, but still not too much so that they don't become brittle? I just did not think about this... Thank!

(To me, the best recipes rely on simple but well-selected ingredients and know-how.)

lindarose92 (author)laxap2013-05-04

Yes, exactly! :)

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2013-05-03

They look yummilicious!

Believe me, they are! :D

PandaBeat (author)2013-05-02

Would you marry me?! :-)
I love Tortellini too, but here we eat them alone and presented in a different way, with a lot of "salsa caruso", "marinera", "bolognesa" etc... here I've never ever seen them serve in zuppa... Now I'm hungry Linda! yummy... my proposition still stands, hehehehe, warm regards from Uruguay!

lindarose92 (author)PandaBeat2013-05-03

lol sorry, I can't! :D
The reason why tradition says that we should eat them in broth is because any other sauce would cover or change the filling's taste...if you eat them in broth you would fully taste everything! :)

mikeasaurus (author)2013-05-02

Mm that looks good, I always wondered how they were rolled

lindarose92 (author)mikeasaurus2013-05-02

Thank you! Now you can try to make them too! :)

FutrixEnterprises (author)2013-05-02

Gorgeous, where the cheese?? already melted?, fabulous golden pasta probably dont need the salt from the cheese with the prosciutto already in it. Did you put the skin end of the cheese in the soup while it was boiling up?? ;) (mamma secrets)

I didn't, but I know it's very common to do that :)

M.C. Langer (author)2013-05-02

Absolutely delicious!! I want!!!!

lindarose92 (author)M.C. Langer2013-05-02

Thank you so much Mario!! (again :D)

M.C. Langer (author)lindarose922013-05-02


stefano.gadget (author)2013-05-02

In questo periodo postoperatorio (ernia inguinale) mi sto cibando di scatolette (non ho proprio voglia di spignattare), poi mi becco tortellini, lasagne…
Sei senza cuore!

haha scusa!! :D
Mi spiace per l'operazione, ti faccio i miei auguri! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to ... More »
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