TURTEIL CUN LA CUÀ – PIACENZA’S TORTELLI WITH TAIL
As a matter of fact, the Tortelli were invented for a nobleman’s table: it was in 1351 when Vigolzone Castle’s chefs created the small bundles filled honouring Francesco Petrarca, well-known host of Bernardo Anguissola (Visconti’s feudatory). "Al turtel (quand al capitta) l'è cme al libar ad la vitta", wrote the poet Valente Faustini celebrating, with the right emphasis, the delights of these Tortelli in a poem which verses proclaimed this dish worthy even of the king’s table. In Vigolzone, as a tribute to the Tortelli every year is organised a festival that involves the whole village for 5 days.
Place the flour on the table, put in its centre the eggs, salt and some lukewarm water and knead the whole. Roll out a thin phyllo dough and divide it into four stripes of about 8 cm and make many squares of 4 cm, on each frame put a small spoon of filling (made of: boiled spinaches, drained, squeezed and minced with a mezzaluna knife). Amalgamate the whole with the egg, Ricotta, cheese and some nutmeg, then bend the dough triangle-shaped, then turn the angles and form a braid – or better two tight and thin tails – pressing them between the thumb and the index finger. Cook the Tortelli in salted boiling water. Drain them inside a ceramic bowl and pour all over them fused butter, sage and a handful of grated Grana cheese.
(Translated by Laura Fugazzi)