Many are the typical products of gastronomy of Crema, but the tortello in particular has a very close bond with this territory. Until a few years ago, it was a dish undervalued and there was the need to revalue and give it the right place at gourmet area.
Starting from this need was born October 31, 1993 the exhibition “At the Table with Cremasca Tradition” which aims to enhance this particular recipe, disseminate the fame and to recommend the consumption.
The recipe for Tortello Cremasco is thought to have been born around 1650, but to have definite information you have to wait until the end of 1800 when the tortello was packed with current ingredients.
The “true” Tortello Cremasco, is pinched by hand, not too big, with the dough thin, so as to facilitate the cooking. Once cooked, it must be seasoned with the excellent quality butter, a nice sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, well seasoned.
It adds a few leaves of Salvia as a garnish and flavor.
(Ingredients for ten / twelve people)
For the pastry: 1 kg.di wheat flour, 1 egg, salt q.s., milk q.s.
For the filling: 350 gr. amaretti Gallina (dark with cocoa); 150 gr. Grana cheese (well seasoned) grated
100 gr. of raisins; 50 gr. candied citron; 2 mint candies; a spicy biscuit
Mostaccino (see note) ; one egg yolk; a grated lemon peel; ½ cup dry Marsala or
half a glass of “Mistrà” (very dry anise liquor)
few tablespoons of broth; a tablespoon of bread crumbs; excellent butter for seasoning;
some fresh sage leaves to garnish
For the filling, pour into a bowl the amaretti crushed in a mortar, the soaked and dried raisins, the mostaccino grated; add the grated candy mints and all the other ingredients, mixing well. If the mixture seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of broth. Let rest the filling, one day in the refrigerator. The next day, prepare the dough as usual, and let it rest in a towel for about an hour. Roll out the pastry and cut out into discs with a round mold (you can also use a glass), spread the filling and close pinching the edge between your thumb and forefinger three times. With these doses are obtained about 330 tortelli.
Cook them in salted boiling water, stirring slowly.
To enjoy them to best: drain the ravioli in a bowl, alternating layers of ravioli with grated Parmesan cheese and raw butter cut into small pieces. Cover for a few minutes until mix well and serve on plates with some fresh sage leaf.
photo credit: Accademia del tortello cremasco
NOTE: The mostaccino is a dry biscuit with spices, typical of Crema. Prepared with flour and sugar at the same weight, 1 egg, a little butter and a great mix of spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, mace, star anise, caraway seeds, black pepper and a hint of cocoa. Is mixed with a little water, it is spread with a rolling pin and cut into pieces to be cooked in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.