Tuscan Pasta Tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta.
Known as Tuscan pasta tordellata, intordellata or stordellata, this delicious deconstructed version of a traditional tortelli recipe from Tuscany tastes as good as the filled pasta dish, with less work! I loved everything about this recipe, including having 2 sauces.
I’m sure you will love this recipe too. It takes a little while to make especially if you make the ragu from scratch. But, this is also a great way to use up leftover ragu or bolognese. In which case, all you need to do is make the Swiss chard with ricotta and cook the pasta!
(This recipe was originally published in 2018 but has been updated with new photos and text)
In Tuscany, tortelli (locally called tordelli) traditionally have a ricotta and swiss chard filling or are filled with a meat ragu containing Swiss chard. With both fillings the pasta is served with a Tuscan meat ragu. However, there are also other ways to serve the same ingredients with different pasta.
Lasagne tordellate and other versions.
In Tuscany, the most well-known of this method of serving filling as a condiment is lasagne tordellate or stordellate. That recipe, traditional in the Massa and Carrara province, is made with small thick usually homemade lasagne squares. The lasagne squares are dressed with a Swiss chard and ragu mix. This would normally be the filling inside tordelli. In Massa, they even hold a lasagne intordellate feast every year in July.
In other versions of this Tuscan pasta tordellata recipe, the filling and ragu aren’t mixed together and this is the recipe I made and have shared with you here. Obviously, the ‘filling’ in this version isn’t made with ragu but with ricotta and Swiss chard flavoured with nutmeg, as is traditional in the Maremma area of Tuscany. Some people also use spinach instead of chard.
What is Tuscan ragu?
The ragu I made for this Tuscan pasta tordellata recipe is a typical ragu from Tuscany. Tuscan ragu is with ground pork, beef and sausage meat. You can, of course, make it without the sausage if you prefer. Or, use your own ragu or Bolognese. It would be just as delicious. For vegetarians, a tomato or tomato and other veggie sauce is a delicious alternative.
For the pasta, I used gigli, also known as campanelle, a typical pasta from Tuscany. The gigli came from a pasta maker, called Pasta Vale in Campofilone, Le Marche. This town is famous for a very fine egg pasta called maccheroncini di Campofilone (also very good with ragu!).
Pasta Vale is a small family run business managed by a lovely young woman called Valeria Marilungo. She and her father make a great selection of dried egg pasta. I went to visit them last year when I was in Campofilone and Valeria gave me some of their pasta to try, including this very good gigli. Check out Pasta Vale's Facebook page for more info.. https://www.facebook.com/pastavale/ or their website (only in Italian). I know they export to Malta but I'm not sure where else. https://www.pastavale.it/
If you don't have gigli, you can make this recipe with many other types of pasta. I would recommend flat ribbons such as pappardelle or mafaldine or other short pasta such as penne, dischi volanti, vesuvio or torchio pasta! Alternatively, why not make some homemade lasagne and cut it into squares as they do in Tuscany?
Different ways to plate Tuscan pasta tordellata.
I mixed the ricotta and chard with the cooked pasta and served it with a generous helping of ragu on top. I actually made 2 layers on each plate. However, you can do this as one layer. I plated pasta with ricotta then ragu, then more pasta with ricotta and more ragu. But, whichever way you serve this recipe, I’m sure you will love it as much as I did. And your family or guests will love it too!
If you do try this recipe, I'd love to hear what you think. Please comment here on the blog or on the Pasta Project Facebook page. If you take photos, do join my pastaliciousness Facebook group and share them with us. I really appreciate your feedback!
If you like pasta with meat ragu, take a look at these other recipe. Italians don't just make ragu with beef.
- Tagliatelle with authentic bolognese
- Bigoli with duck ragu from Veneto
- Tuscan wild boar ragu with pappardelle
- Fusilli with lamb ragu from Molis
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