Famous beyond regional borders, the tortellini di Valeggio are actually called "love knots" due to the shape that is given to them similar to a knot.
They are rigorously handmade, they can be purchased in numerous pasta factories in Valeggio and Borghetto, made with very thin pasta, stuffed with meat, they are excellent with melted butter and sage, but also enjoyed in broth and even dry with melted butter and Parmesan.
They are linked to an ancient legend and honored by a great and famous event: the Feast of the Knot of Love, which takes place every year in Borghetto di Valeggio sul Mincio.
The filling consists of mixed meat (beef and pork), mixed vegetables, rosemary, mortadella without pistachios and without pepper, a drop of white wine, usually Custoza. This filling should be cooked for 3-4 hours, after which it should be ground and seasoned with eggs, parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
The classic version of the tortellini recipe is to cook and taste them in the meat broth to which, once served, add one or two spoons of Bardolino wine; otherwise they can still be cooked in the meat broth and then pulled up and eaten "dry", seasoned with just browned melted butter and a few sage leaves.
It is a classic dish that is offered unchanged all year round in restaurants and pasta factories that still have an artisan dimension here on Garda Veneto.
Here is the recipe:
Ingredients (for 6 people):
* 600 g of flour
* 5 eggs
* 100 grams of pork tenderloin
* 100 grams of veal pulp
* 100 grams of beef pulp
* 200 grams of chicken breast (or, optionally, 100 grams of chicken livers)
* 100 grams of raw ham
* 100 grams of Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
* 50 grams of breadcrumbs
* 1 sprig of rosemary
* Extra virgin olive oil
* For the dressing: capon broth or butter and sage
Preparation of the meat filling:
Finely chop the onion, put it in a saucepan with the oil and sauté it over low heat.
Add the pork, beef, chicken and veal cut into small pieces with the rosemary and nutmeg.
Add pepper and salt without overdoing it because the raw ham and cheese will give the dough more flavor.
When cooked, remove the rosemary, let it cool and then mince or blend the cooked meat with the raw ham, cheese, breadcrumbs and one yolk of one of the 5 eggs.
Shape into a ball, wrap it in kitchen paper and let it rest for at least an hour.
Preparation of egg pasta:
After carefully sifting the flour, mix it with the remaining eggs, half a glass of water and a little salt.
Work it well and then roll it into a very thin sheet.
Preparation of the tortellino:
Cut the egg pasta sheet into squares of 4 centimeters per side and fill them with a ball of meat filling.
Close the square of dough along its diagonal, until it becomes a triangle. Then join, pressing them, two corners of the triangle previously obtained. Your tortellino is ready to be cooked.
You can serve the Valeggio tortellini with capon broth or butter and sage.