Tortelloni vs. Tortellini

Tortelloni and tortellini are both delicious stuffed pastas. While they might seem similar to each other, they are actually different types of kinds of pasta with very unique characteristics. Their differences reflect the regions they come from and the history and traditions associated with each pasta. The history of a particular food is often linked to the history of the place where it comes from and the people who live there. 

What Is Tortelloni?

Tortelloni is most popular in the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions of Northern Italy. They are often served on Christmas Eve in these regions because the population is largely Catholic and not allowed to eat meat on the day before Christmas. 

One of the primary differences between tortelloni and tortellini is the shape. Tortelloni is a keyhole-shaped pasta made from one round piece of dough folded over a filling. The ends are then twisted together to make the unique shape and to seal the pasta to keep the filling inside. 

Another difference between these two kinds of pasta is that tortelloni is usually not stuffed with meat. Traditional fillings for tortelloni include ricotta cheese, spinach or parsley, pumpkin or squash puree, or crumbled amaretti biscuits. The vegetarian filling means tortelloni pairs well with a wide range of sauces, including red or cream sauces. But most of the time, it’s served with just sage-infused butter. 

What Is Tortellini?

Tortellini has a similar shape to tortelloni, and it comes from the Emilia-Romagna region like tortelloni, but tortellini is stuffed with meat. The traditional filling for tortellini is a mixture of seasoned ground meat, egg, and parmesan cheese. The Emilia-Romagna region is known for delicacies like prosciutto di Parma, and often prosciutto or mortadella is ground and seasoned and used to stuff tortellini. 

Like tortelloni, tortellini can be served with a wide range of sauces or with just butter. But the traditional way to serve tortellini is to serve it with a bowl of rich, flavorful chicken or beef broth. The meat broth enhances the flavor of the seasoned meat in the pasta. It makes the delicate seasonings in the filling pop and creates a wonderful layered flavor. The meat filling also makes tortellini great with a tomato-based sauce. The meat gives the pasta some heft that stands up well in a thick tomato sauce. 

The Best Stuffed Pasta And Other Italian Food at Trattoria Il Panino

If you want to try tortelloni and tortellini to compare the two for yourself, visit Trattoria Il Panino. Trattoria Il Panino has the best Italian pasta that you’ll find. Fresh, flavorful pasta and Italian food are Trattoria Il Panino’s specialty, so stop in today to try Italian cuisine or delicious tortellini.