Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

In autumn the markets are full of pumpkins of all shapes and colors and it is something that our chef particularly loves so much that he has created a 100% Vegan version of pumpkin tortelli inspired by the tradition of Italian cuisine from the Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions. The pumpkin tortello was born in the kitchens of noble lordships and, at the beginning of the 1900s, in the kitchens of popular agricultural families as a dish for the feast of the nativity and resurrection, thus becoming a typical dish, of tradition and for everyone.

The history of pumpkin tortelli

The history of pumpkin tortelli is lost in the meanders of the times and the controversy has always been the attribution to Mantua or Ferrara. This is because the history of pumpkin tortello is linked in parallel to that of two great Italian noble families: the Gonzagas and the Estes. The first written mention is in 1544 by Cristoforo Messisbugo, a chef from Ferrara who remained in the service of the Gonzagas in Mantua for 25 years. He mentions them in his recipe book with the name of “turtell” or “riturtell”.

Instead in Ferrara the pumpkin “cappellacci” or “ritortelli” are reported with the first “public recipe book Dello Scalco”, dated 1584 with the signature of Gianbattista Rossetti, cook at the court of Duke Alfonso II d’Este, recipe book later adopted by other cooks of the time. From the Gonzaga and Este courts, pumpkin tortelli traveled from city to city, above all in the wake of the excellent Jewish cooks, expelled with the edicts of 1629-30.

During the culinary journey, even the ingredients undergo changes and from the original Mantuan and Ferrara recipe we reach Crema in Lombardy, with the turtei cremasch, where strangely the pumpkin disappears, while the other components of the filling remain.

The typical dressing is with melted butter and parmesan, sometimes adding tomato sauce. The shape varies from city to city, but sometimes also from family to family, from tortello to cappellaccio, from square to round to half-moon, always with a thin egg-based pastry.

Our Chef also produces a very interesting vegetable ricotta for the filling which he assembles with aromatic herbs and gives it the shape of rooster’s combs which make the plating very delicious and elegant.