The best tortellini in broth in Bologna
Bologna is well-known for many reasons, among others its amazing genuine food, nice weather, and cozy narrow streets in the city center.
“Tortellini in brodo” is one of the typical dishes which Bologna is more proud of, and if you are reading this, you really want to know where to find the best in town and how to recognize them.
Family recipe broth and sfogline tradition:
Families’ traditional recipes are what make the difference in Emilia-Romagna regional food, from the old homemade ragù alla bolognese to the preparation of meat broth, used to cook tortellini and other small-sized pasta.
Our sfogline are a fully regional specificity, and these ladies make pasta using a wooden rolling pin. This delivers a rough texture to the pasta and makes it perfectly thin but malleable. You can read more about them here
Tortellini is a delicious, filled pasta that people from Bologna relate to happy family moments, the best way to have it is in a meat broth.
“Brodo di carne” , alias meat broth is not only flavored water in which to cook homemade food, but a way to value parts of meat that will be anyhow included in the meal.
Meat broth is mainly prepared with half hen or Capon chicken, and more 3 / 4 pieces of beef meat, together with its bones, giving it a full flavor and mineral proprieties. Then, a pinch of coarse salt and “gli odori” (“the smells”), which are chopped carrots, onions, and celery together, the same vegetable base of the ragù alla bolognese, giving the delicate aromatic and sweet taste to these regional recipes.
In Bologna, the tradition of sfogline carries on not only fantastic traditional dishes but a unique way of making them which made them famous all over the world!
And thanks to this you can still enjoy excellent homemade tortellini in various restaurants in the city! Find them below.
Typical Emilian cuisine, in an informal and welcoming environment
Andrea and Giacomo, the owners of Salsamenteria, always use local products making strict research on the raw material to be used and cooked.
Two sfogline work there, making delicious fresh pasta with the rolling pin daily. You can enjoy in different types: tortellini, tortelloni, tagliatelle, green dough lasagne etc.
Salsamenteria’s homemade tortellini are cooked in a savory broth done from capon chicken meat and beef meat together with its bones, making it highly appreciated by customers.
Alternatively, you can enjoy tortellini served with no broth, but Parmigiano cheese cream sauce.
Another delicious dish of the tradition not to be missed is “Balanzoni ripieni di Mousse di Mortadella” green-dough pasta filled with mortadella mousse, a typical pasta you can only find in Bologna!
Salsamenteria is part of out Delicious Bologna food tour, check and book your spot here
Salsamenteria: Via Altabella 19b
Tortellini in capon chicken broth or in Parmigiano cheese cream: 14 euros
A little jewel with a welcoming homely kitchen
Serghei restaurant is an authentic little jewel, old-fashioned style, and family-run.
Even the plates on which the delicious dishes are served seem to come directly from grandmother’s pantry.
Despite this, the refinement of the dishes is immediately understood at first sight.
The most requested and loved by customers are tortellini in broth and tagliatelle al ragù bolognese.
Serghei restaurant’s tortellini in broth are small and “wrapped around the little finger” as the tradition dictates when sfogline close them manually. Serghei’s tortellini have an excellent dough and boast of being “perhaps the best in town” by more than one customer.
The restaurant also serves three types of tortelloni (bigger size tortellini, with a vegetarian filling and no broth): ricotta filled with butter and sage cream, ricotta filled with Gorgonzola cream, and pumpkin-filled ones, (seasonally).
A typical second course that will drive you to an Italian indoor home-cooked lunch is “zucchine ripiene e polpettine in umido” (stuffed courgettes with meatball stew), typically prepared by our mums and grannies.
Serghei’s restaurant in Bologna managed to bring our daily family delights within the reach of everyone in town. You’ll just have to try it.
Please note: the restaurant is closed on weekends.
Serghei: Via Piella 12
Tortellini in broth: 13 euros
Traditional dishes, great broth, and food unifying past and present generations
“Al Cambio” is a restaurant where traditional dishes are impeccably followed, but with a few interesting variations too.
Al Cambio restaurant is also in the Michelin guide, which states: “Despite its out-of-town location, this contemporary, simply decorated restaurant is extremely popular. Fans of traditional cuisine will be in their element here, thanks to the perfectly prepared cuisine which is unfussy yet delicious and full of strong flavours.”
Al Cambio’s tortellini in broth are considered perfect by their customers, who are satisfied by the variety of the menu.
For meat lovers, a typical Al Cambio’s second-course is “Cotoletta alla bolognese”: veal cutlet breaded with a slice of prosciutto and cheese wrapped around it.
This is an intense second dish to try, but worth it! Especially if you’ll order it after a first course in broth, such as tortellini, lighter than other first courses of the emilian tradition.
“Tortellini in doppio brodo di carne come una volta” (“like it was in the past”) follow a recipe where the broth has an extra flavour due two broths combined in one (first one with only vegetables and “odori”, a second one with vegetables, “odori” and meat too).
If you want to know more, go and try, you’ll be probably be lucky enough to still find a copy of their handwritten tortellini recipe, which is well detailed and printed there “qui al servizio dei posteri” (it’s here at the service of posterity)
Al Cambio: Via Stalingrado, 150
Tortellini in “double” broth: 14 euros
Old tradition carried on througout the years
In the “first courses done with a rolling pin” menu section, tortellini in broth could not be missing at Donatello, being one of the oldest traditional restaurants in Bologna (since 1903).
Donatello restaurant has maintained an excellent reputation over the years is often visited by various famous people, local and national famous singers and actors….
Donatello’s restaurant traditional menu is well cared and of high quality, as many customers state.
For curious palates and groups who like to share, a trio of traditional pasta dishes is available: “Tris di primi: tortelloni ricotta e spinaci, lasagne alla bolognese e gramigna al ragù di salsiccia”, giving you the chance to explore the flavours of a refined Lasagna al ragù bolognese, tortelloni filled with ricotta cheese and spinach and a little pasta with a delicious special ragù. All in a delicious plate where the ragù sauce is highly appreciated since it’s thick and savory.
What else could your palate ask for?
Donatello: Via Augusto Righi, 8
Tortellini in broth: 13 euros
Two types of tortellini in a refined place with a great meat selection
This refined restaurant, slightly more expensive than the average, boasts of excellent, typical Emilian food.
Among the top dishes, which are also mentioned in the Michelin guide, there’s the regional cold cuts selecton.
These include: Culatello di Zibello (top quality prosciutto, aged 36 months, with Slow Food presidium) and various Parma and Bologna’s sophisticated salumi. These are the perfect appetizer before enjoying a traditional first course such as their tasty tortellini in brodo.
Osteria Bottega menu “offers a real feast for the tastebuds that will linger long in the memory” (Michelin guide)
“Tortellini della Domenica” with Capon chicken broth, and another variation “Gli altri tortellini” can be ordered there.
Another unique and refined first course by Osteria Bottega is: “saporite e dolci tagliatelle ‘bianche’ al culatello di Zibello” (“the tasty and sweet white-dough tagliatelle al culatello di Zibello” (16 euros)
The only vegetarian first course on the menu is tortelli filled with ricotta cheese, in a tomato and baby spinach sauce.
All’Osteria Bottega: Via Santa Caterina, 51
Tortellini della Domenica al brodo di cappone: 16 euros
“Gli altri tortellini”: 18 euros