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Tortelli Piacentini Pasta: Everything About the Shape

While you may know about other filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini, you may not know much about the hidden gem that is Tortelli Piacentini. Tortelli Piacentini is an elegant, uniquely shaped filled pasta that is sure to be the star of your next dinner party. 

Tortelli piacentini, also known as turtej cu la cua in its local dialect, is a short, filled pasta that originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, dating back to the 14th century. The name “cu la cua” is the local term for “con la coda” which, in turn, means “with the tail.”

In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about Tortelli Piacentini and provide simple yet scrumptious recipes you can try yourself. 

Tortelli Piacentini: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about Tortelli Piacentini: 

Pasta Shape:Tortelli Piacentini
Pasta Type:Filled Pasta
Origin:Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Meaning:Italian term for “with the tail”
Synonyms:Turtej cu la cua, tortelli con la coda
Similar Shapes:Caramelle, agniolotti, tortellini 

Where Did Tortelli Piacentini Originate?

Tortelli Piacentini pasta is said to be one of the most ancient filled pasta, with roots tracing back to 1351. It is said that a nobleman named Bernardo Anguissola served it to a special guest at a castle in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. 

The nobleman apparently asked his cooks to transform normal ravioli into a filled pasta with a more unique and aesthetically appealing shape. And so, tortelli piacentini was born.  

What Does Tortelli Piacentini Mean?

Tortelli Piacentini roughly means “tortelli with a tail” due to its unique shape. They are formed by cutting out circles from fresh pasta dough, placing a small amount of your filling of choice in the middle, and then folding and pleating the edges to form a nice plait with a tail at the end. They’re like little Italian dumplings! 

What Is the Difference Between Tortelli Piacentini and Ravioli?

Ravioli is the most popular filled pasta shape across the globe. It is so popular that it even comes in a can! Ravioli is characterized by its distinct square or pillow shape. Although ravioli can also be cut into round or semi-circle shapes, the traditional way of cutting it is into squares. 

Tortelli piacentini, despite also being a type of filled pasta, looks way more intricate and handmade. The elegant crimps and pleats to seal the edges of the dough definitely make it stand out among other types of filled pasta. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Tortelli Piacentini Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with tortelli piacentini pasta:

Pasta al Burro e Salvia

The tortelli is traditionally served in a simple way. After it’s cooked in salted boiling water, it is then tossed in a melted or brown butter sauce, along with sage and parmesan cheese.  

Classic Tortelli di Zucca

This dish calls for a fleshy pumpkin filling to be stuffed inside the tortelli. Aside from pumpkins, the filling also contains crushed amaretti biscuits and grated cheese. To finish, the cooked pasta is then tossed in a similar sage butter sauce. 

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways you can enjoy tortelli piacentini pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Tortelli Piacentini pasta is one of the more unique and interesting pasta shapes out there. The intricate pleating of each piece ensures that every last bit is made with love, and it is definitely worth a try. 

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