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Tortel dols

Parma - PR

Along the banks of the Po river, on a strip of land that includes the Municipalities of Colorno, Mezzani, Sissa, Torrile and Trecasali, is preserved an old recipe, strongly linked to this land tradition. It's the tortel dols, a dialect word meaning sweet tortello, whose preparation is handed down by the families of these villages still today.

The tortel dols must not be confused with the pumpkin tortello: its recipe is based on other ingredients, as the mustard (strictly homemade with pears, white watermelon, quince apples), grated bread and cooked wine (must). The pear and the apple are ancient fruits that grow in this area, meaning once again that this recipe is very much bound to the territory.

The tortel dols has always been considered the food of the holidays, whose origins, according to the popular tradition, come from the Duchess Maria Luigia, who introduced this yummy recipe to the parmesan cuisine. People actually narrate that the Duchess, on special occasions, offered to the boatmen of Sacca, a village near Colorno, whis food that these men named sweet tortello for the distinctive flavour of its stuffing.
To be sure we can say that its origins derive from wits of the peasant families, who obtained a noble recipe from a few ingredients of their poor cuisine. The mustard was actually the old method they used to preserve fruit during winter time and the must was a product of the wine making.

Since 2008, every second Sunday of October in Colorno there is the Gran Galà of the Tortel Dols, a gastronomic-cultural event where iot is possible to taste this first course, join meetings with experts and learn more about the history and tradition of the territory.

ingredients for one kg. of pasta 1 kg of flour oo
400 ml of egg yolks
750 whole eggs
(water if necessary)
Ingredients for 100 tortelli – serves 10

Preparation of the pasta
place flour with a fountain shape, put eggs in the centre and slowly knead. Roll out the pastry thin, put small parts of the stuffing (see procedure), cover up the stuffing with the pastry and cut the tortelli with the proper pastry cutting wheel.

1,50 kg of noble pears
1,50 kg of pumpkin for mustard (white watermelon)
1 kg of quince apples
2 sliced lemons
3 hg of sugar for every kg of peeled fruit

Preparation of the mustard
clean and slice the fruit. Leave the fruit with sugar for one night. The day after filter the sauce and boil it for a few minutes in a pot without lid then pour it all over the fruit. Do it for three days. On the fourth day boil it all in a pot without lid for 2 hours. Cool it off and add 1 gr of white mustard (on sale in the pharmacies) for every kg of fruit. Put it in a vase. The mustard will be ready after about 2 months.

Stuffing of the tortello
6 hg of mustard
4,5 kg of grated bread
1 l of must (boil the fermented grape must 24 hours, to get 1 part out of 3). At the need, if you prefer the stuffing less sweet, add 2 spoons of plum jam.

Preparation of the stuffing
warm the must (not boil it), heat the bread. When it's cooled off add the mustard finely chopped (also the lemon slices). Work it with your hands. The result should be not much dry but soft, so if necessary, add some more mustard. Leave it a pari of days before using it to stuff the pastry.

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