Bologna… Homemade Pasta and Mortadella

How to Make Fresh Pasta - Filling

Bologna… Homemade Pasta and Mortadella

If Bologna were to be defined by its food specialties, these would be homemade pasta and mortadella.

How to Prepare Fresh Filled Pasta - Shaping
And while Bologna is beautiful and well worth spending a few days, besides the beautiful architecture and lively atmosphere, food is certainly one of the main attractions.

In its simplicity, making egg pasta is an art and I was mesmerized looking at the local women quickly kneading flour and eggs, stretching the dough with the pin roll until it’s very thin, cutting it by hand to make tagliatelle or skilfully placing small portions of filling and folding the dough to make ravioli or tortelli.

You haven’t experienced Bologna if you don’t eat fresh pasta, whether it is tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini or lasagne. Even better, you can learn

How to make homemade pasta, to blow your friends and family away.

How to Prepare Homemade Pasta [Step 1]

 Homemade pasta Bologna-style is only made of eggs and flour 

How to Make Fresh Pasta - Ingredients How to Make Fresh Pasta - Mixing Flour and Eggs
How to Make Fresh Pasta - Working the Dough How to Make Fresh Pasta - Shaping the Dough

The challenge of homemade pasta? Stretch the dough until it’s very thin! 

How to Prepare Homemade Pasta [Step 2]

A mortadella filling. But there are as many option as your creativity tells. 

For this particular ravioli and filling, invented for the Mortadella Bo food festival and named ‘Sorpresine‘ (Small Surprises), the main ingredient is of course… Mortadella.
All right, I wouldn’t say this was my favorite filling, and I like mortadella ‘nature‘, in thin slices with good bread, but it was an interesting and unusual way to use this delicious cold cut.

Recipe (for 4 portions)

300 gr potatoes (cooked and then mashed)
120 gr mortadella
100 gr grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Mix the ingredients. Add about a tea spoon of filling on each square of pasta (don’t exceed, otherwise it will pout out). Connect two opposite corners and then the two other opposite. Flatten to seal the dough and give the shape to the ravioli.
Cook in plentiful boiling water for 2-3 minutes (until they come to the surface.
Drain and season with melted butter, chopped walnuts and sage. Sprinkle some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and…

Fresh Pasta Filling Fresh Pasta Mortadella FillingHow to Make Fresh Pasta - Filling
Buon appetito!

Sorpresine alla Mortadella

Note: Emilia-Romagna Tourism kindly invited me to attend the Mortadella Bo food festival, during which I learned (and made) this recipe with other locals. My still modest skills in preparing homemade pasta in no way influenced my writing [and I won’t invite you until I have acquired a greater ability] 


If you fancy more of this fantastic region… 10 Reasons to Add Emilia-Romagna to Your Travel Bucket List



  • Amber
    Posted at 11:07h, 08 April Reply

    Amazing photos! We took a few pasta cooking classes while in Emilia Romagna, although none in Bologna, and I am missing all of that great pasta!! For sure!

    • Simon
      Posted at 14:38h, 08 April Reply

      Being Italian, I am biased, of course. And pasta remains my favourite dish!

  • heather on her travels
    Posted at 23:09h, 20 October Reply

    You are making me so hungry for another trip to Italy!

    • Simon Falvo
      Posted at 11:21h, 23 October Reply

      Haha! I bet. Only thinking at Italian food makes my mouth water 🙂

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