Food Pasta

Tortellini di Zucca…

Tortellini with Pumpkin... Traditionally the tortellini can be made with a meat filling but I have opted for a pumpkin one instead. Read more...

Tortellini with Pumpkin

Traditionally the tortellini can be made with a meat filling but I have opted for pumpkin instead.

This classical dish from the region of Valeggio Sul Borghetto, has an intriguing tale behind it! The legend of love and the pasta love knot (Nodo d’Amore), dates back as early as the 14th century, and is still celebrated and honored today in Borghetto, with an annual grand festival.

It is believed the legend began, with the story of Malco, an army captain who awoke one night to dancing witches, who emerged from the nearby banks of the river Mincio. The witches were cursed nymphs, who had been condemned to live beneath the river’s surface. One particular evening, one of the witches, Silvia, lost her cape and revealed her beauty to Malco, who immediately was attracted to the witch and was cast under her spell. As Malco pleaded for Silvia to stay with him, she in return gave him a golden handkerchief tied in a knot, as a sign of her love.

The following evening, at a party held for the troops, Malco recognized one of the dancers as Silvia. A jealous girl named Isabella, who also liked Malco, informed the guards that Silvia was in fact a witch. Malco defended Silvia and was imprisoned, as Silvia escaped.

The next evening, Silvia returned to free her lover, and a remorseful Isabella helped the lovers escape. Malco and Silvia returned to the river together to be as one, and on the banks of the river Mincio, the guards found a golden knotted handkerchief in memory of Malco and Silvia’s love.

This shape and resemblance of the golden knotted handkerchief, remains the inspiration for what we know today as tortellini or the pasta love knot (Nodo d’Amore).

*Note: This years festival of “Nodo d’Amore” will be Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Fresh Egg Pasta

You will need a pasta making machine to make the pasta



375 g (2 ½ cups) plain flour

½ tsp salt

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Plain flour, extra


On a clean work surface sift the flour and salt together. Use your hands and to shape the flour into a circular mound. Make a well in the centre. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and use a fork to whisk lightly. Using the fork or your fingertips add the olive oil (optional) and eggs a little at a time, into the centre of the flour, gradually incorporate the flour being extra careful the egg does not run out of the wall of flour. Bring the dough together and add extra flour as necessary as you knead the dough for 6-7 minutes continuously. Divide the dough into four equal sections and wrap in plastic wrap. Keep dough aside to rest for 10 minutes, making it easier to roll out. Attach your pasta machine to the side of a workbench and fit to the widest setting. Dust the rollers and workbench area with flour. Unwrap a portion of the dough and use your hand to flatten out into a rectangle shape. Roll the dough through the machine. Dust again and fold the dough in half and repeat this process 5 times until smooth. Reduce the width setting by one, and roll through dough, each time reducing your setting until the dough is 1- 1.5mm thick. Be careful it is not too thin, as it can get stuck within the rollers and tear. Spread the sheets over clean tea towels. Be careful not to overlap sheets or they will stick. If they are over dried, they will crack. Cut into 8 x 8cm squares and fill with desired mixture. Fold in half diagonally to make a triangle shape. Take the side corners and bring them together adding a drop of water so the pasta sticks together and does not open up. Lay on a towel till ready to cook. Cook straight away in salted, boiling water, for a few minutes until pasta is cooked through. Drain and toss through sage and butter sauce.

Pumpkin Filling



1 small pumpkin

2 eggs

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup parsley chopped

handful sage chopped

salt and pepper to taste


Cut the pumpkin into wedges and bake in a moderate oven till soft, be careful not to burn or brown the pumpkin.

When cooled, mash the pumpkin into a large bowl with a fork and add the remaining ingredients.

Add teaspoons of the mixture onto the pasta squares as mentioned above.


Butter and Sage Sauce



40g butter

handful of sage leaves


Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add sage leaves as butter begins to bubble. Toss cooked tortellini through the sauce, evenly coating the pasta. Serve immediately.


The popular dish of “Nodo d’Amore from the local trattoria Alla Passeggiata in Valeggio sul Mincio. 



Tortellini 3


Tortellini 1


Realted Posts

Valeggio Sul Mincio



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48 comments on “Tortellini di Zucca…

  1. Pingback: Tortellini di Zucca… – The Militant Negro™

  2. I’ll never eat tortellini again without thinking of Silvia and Malco. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Valeggio sul Mincio, Borghetto… – a mindful traveler

  4. What a lovely story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful story, only matched by your glorious photographs and new format, Lorelle! I adore pumpkin and by strange coincidence blogged about it recently!! I think this dish sounds so delicious however I am not confident with making my own pasta! Do you think I could use the filling recipe in a layered vege lasagne?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I remember your pumpkin post Amanda. I must admit, it took a bit of practice myself to perfect the pasta!! But it is totally worth the effort. I would suggest keeping the pumpkin in chunks or thick slices for a vege lasagne, the tortellini filling maybe to mushy for a lasagne. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A beautiful story about the gold knotted handkerchief. Again, another delicious dish to make me salivate 😋

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved the story Lorelle. But like Amanda, I too am not confident to make the tortellini. (Truth be told – I’m to impatient as well). It looks delicious though, and another great use for pumpkin.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow!
    Witches who were nymphs: how delicious!
    And what yummy photos! Hungry hungry!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fascinating story Lorelle and the recipe sounds delish. x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very interesting story about tortellini. Haven’t heard it before!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful recipe. I must get a pasta making machine. It has been on my list for too long!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Anything with creamy pasta…. I’ll be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. They look delicious and classy. I will give it a try, although I am not the best with pasta and I could fail … I mean, you don´t know until you try, right. Beautiful presentation as well!. Love & best wishes 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a lovely story and those tortellini sound an look amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sounds delish, I think I’d better drag out the pasta machine and get crackin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I will just have to tweet and pin this one. Thank you for sharing @ Senior Salon

    Liked by 1 person

  17. These are simply mouthwatering!! What a yummy recipe. I must say I am a big fun of pumpkin. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Senior Salon Roundup Post: April 30 – May 4, 2018 | The Recipe Hunter

  19. The filling sounds lovely and I just love sage…With a lovely story as well a very nice post 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Aw this is such a romantic history and a delicious sounding dish too! Lovely 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: 5 Italian Phrases… – a mindful traveler

  22. Oh this looks BEAUTIFUL! Please can you pop over and make this for me?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s years since I made my own pasta, but I think I’m going to have to make tortellini soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This looks SOOO delicious. Like, so, so delicious. I’m impressed. I love the story too. I’ll eat tortellini with more enjoyment now, knowing the story behind it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Walking the Talk: Quote Challenge #2 – Sunrise, Sunset

  26. Pingback: Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese with Balsamic Vinegar… – a mindful traveler

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