Chestnut Tortelli

Gourmet dish with a rustic soul

by Domenico Restuccia


Gourmet resurrection. The chestnut tortelli are back and accompanied by the best known tortelli d'erbetta, pumpkin and potatoes tortelli, they form a quartet that the people who come to Parma absolutely have to taste. The history of these tortelli goes back several centuries, since the Renaissance, they had a place on the tables of the inhabitants of the duchy. It was a humble dish connected to the products that the land offered to people, especially in the mountain and rural areas. In the XIV and XV centuries, but also in the following centuries, chestnuts represented the bread and the meat  of the poorest inhabitants. This raw material provided both sweet and  salty dishes, thanks to the ease with which they could find it and to the large quantities at their disposal, not to mention its ductility in the use in cooking.

Its rustic origins didn't stop it from turning into a delicate dish, with multiple flavors shades

Its rustic origins didn't stop it from turning into a delicate dish, with multiple flavors shades; in fact, thanks to its malleability the chestnut  bond with other ingredients, even unusual like coffee or chocolate, realizing flavors juxtapositions which can provoke pleasantness reaction for every kind of palate.

The recipes that are rediscovered to prepare tortelli with chestnuts are manifold and each one is linked to characteristics of the territory. Here we have two examples. While one recipe is more classic and traditional, the other one, with its marked contrast bitter-sweet, caused by the saba, is preferred by the eaters more imaginatives, who always research new sensory experiences. However, without the cries of scandal, the beauty of the kitchen isn't in its variety?


Recipe for the preparation of tortelli with chestnuts and mustard

Doses: 4 people 
Time for preparation: 1 hour and 30 minutes (except the soak of 10 hours for the chestnuts)
Difficulty: four 
Variants: it is possible to add a half teaspoon of coloured-mustard
Tipology: vegetarian 

Ingredienti per il ripieno:

  • 6 hg of dried chestnuts
  • 3 hg of mustard

Puff pastry:

  • 1 kg of flour
  • 8 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

We represent the tortelli of chestnuts and mustard with the taste of rediscovery. The process is very similar to that of the preparation for the classic tortelli with greens of pumpkin or potato. Puff pastry of fresh pasta with stuffed in this case of dried chestnuts and Berceto's mustard, preferably.

Wash the dried chestnuts put them to soak for at least ten hours. They will be boiled in the same soaking water, until they are soft enough to be passed in the masher. The cooking water must be conserved. Mince the mustard without eliminating the sauce and add the mashed chestnuts. Work the mixture until you have a firm texture. To soften it the cooking water of chestnuts can be added. To prepare the dough, the flour is mixed with eggs and a pinch of sale. Obtained a firm dough, you roll it being careful that is not too thin. It is cut into wide strips of at least 8 cm, on which you have the well-spaced piles of stuffing. Fold on them the dough to seal around the stuffing. Finally the tortelli are trimmed with a rectangular shape with a washer leaving a sheet border around the stuffing. The tortelli are cooked in boiling salted water for about fifteen minutes. After draining they are seasoned with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. 

(Recipe from Parmagola web site at the link:


Recipe for the preparation of "chestnut and saba (boiled must) tortelli"

Dosi: 4 people

For the filling:

200 grams of pink apples

  • 200 grams of "pere nobili" (noble pears)
  • 75 grams of dry chestnuts
  • 1,5 L of saba (boiled must)
  • dries fruit (optional)

For the dough:

  • 250 grams of flour "00" of soft wheat
  • 3 eggs
  • salt 

How to prepare the "chestnut and saba tortelli".

In a high borders container, boil the dry chestnuts in the saba (boiled must); when cooking is complete add dried fruit divided into pieces. Complete the cooking until you obtain a creamy dough. Meanwhile, prepare the fillo dough. Make a well in the centre of the flour on a pastry board. Add 3eggs, some oil and salt and knead with a fork. When it thickens, knead by hand until you obtain an elastic dough.

Lest rest in the refrigerator for an hour, check the solidity the draw it into long strips, put a little bit of filling and then close the dough. Whit your fingers pressure around the filling so that dough can well stick and then..make "tortelli"!

Cook "tortelli" in an abundant satly water, drain and flavour them with fused butter and Parmesan cheese as if it rained.

(This recipe has been proposed in "La Greppia" restaurant and drawn from the website WINE DHARMA via the link:

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