Tortellino Festival: who makes the best tortellini in Bologna?

Bologna tortellino festival
Tortellini is a special dish for special occasions.
But every year there's a way to find out which is the restaurant that makes the best tortellini in Bologna. ​
Tortellini with ray, anchovies, buffalo mozzarella in butter and truffle sauce

Tortellino Festival

Oct.4th is St.Petronio, a very important day for Bologna. Lots of celebrations, parties and one unique event for foodies. Tour Tlen(tortellino in our slang) Association created this event 6 years ago with the aim of having together the best chefs of Bologna and make them challenge on our most popular pasta.
Just 2 rules:

1. the dough must be handmade with wood rolling pin
2. the shape of tortellino must be the classic one.

Except those, every chef is free to create and innovate, mix and combine.
Tortellino Festival takes place in the stunning hall of Palazzo Re Enzo and in 2017 hosted 24 different chefs.
​With 20€ you can have 5 different tasting of tortellini.

Who made the best tortellino

I carefully selected and tried 3 different tortellini:

Acqua Pazza
My first choice. I went straight to them to taste their fish tortellini with ray, anchovies, buffalo mozzarella in butter and truffle sauce.
I've first run into this fish restaurant just outside Bologna at Mangirò food walk, where they prepared an amazing shrimp with gazpacho, and I was looking forward to meeting them again.

​Hardcore bolognesi can be skeptical about a fish tortellino, but for me it was just a perfect and well balanced dish.

Ristorante Cesoia
I was scrolling down Facebook newsfeed when I encountered a photo of a red&blue tortellini. I first thought about a well made work of Photoshop, but then I read and realized it was an idea of Pietro Montanari. This young chef has a family tradition in Bologna and took Ristorante Cesoia by the hands of his grandfather 3 years ago.

But how to make it look like them?

I'm curious, I asked him. He decided to separate the filling: on the red one he mixed in the dough the pork loin and mortadella, for the blue ones he put the pollanca (pullet) with some squid ink and dried kale. This tortellini weren't just an aesthetic divertissement, but a real example of the skills and imagination of this young guy.

Massimiliano Poggi
Finally a classic tortellino. Cooked in beef and capon broth by the hands of Max Poggi, probably one of the most underrated chef of Bologna.
Max is out of the Michelin Stars circuit and prefers to stay in the kitchen rather than walking around the tables, but his cuisine has nothing to envy to awarded restaurants of the area.

He well combines modern techniques and grandmother's tips, respects the tradition but looks forward to innovation and collaboration. A dinner at his restaurant in Trebbo di Reno worth a special occasion. Like a good bowl of hot tortellini.
Tortellini on potato puree with pistachio and porcini's powder by La Bottega di Franco


Ristorante Cesoia (UPDATE 2020 - CLOSED)
Via Massarenti, 90/2d, Bologna
Tel. 051 340942

Acqua Pazza
Via Murri, 168, Bologna
Tel. 051 443422

Massimiliano Poggi
Via Lame, 65, Trebbo (BO)
Tel. 051 704217

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