Milan's famous Fried Tortelli - not just for Carnival!

As many Italian regions of Italy are celebrating the festive season of Carnival; also in the Lombardy and in particular in Milan - one item cannot be missing. The famous Fried Carnival Tortelli! Soft, crispy mini-donuts dipped in sugar and then filled with a variety of creams.  With Carnival celebrations continuing beyond Ash Wednesday until Saturday 17 February, Milan's pastry shops are already busy preparing tortelli. This has nothing to do with egg pasta; but are rounded balls of dough, (obviously) fried and often filled. Dating back from Ancient Rome time with the custom of frictilia served with honey during the pagan winter festivals. They are not too different from castagnole, as they are called in other regions, but the Lombard ones are characterized by a particularly fluffy airy interior, which makes them perfect for filling.

In Milan there are many possibilities to taste well-made tortelli, between historic establishments and contemporary pastry shops. At Pavé, for example, "tortelli weeks" are underway, which from time to time see them filled with custard, chocolate, etc. Even at the famous Peck delicatessen they are found with various creams, or just a sprinkling of sugar. At Martesana they offer them also with zabaglione, while at Marlà they can also be found with ricotta cream. Among the pastry shops to note, Marchesi 1824, Gattullo - also for the excellent Chiacchiere .

The recipe for Fried Carnival Tortelli


Ingredients for 4 people

150 g of flour

125 g of milk

50 g of butter

50 g of sugar

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

A vanilla pod (one piece is enough)

the grated peel of 1 untreated lemon

3 g of baking powder


Salt to taste.



Pour milk, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt into a saucepan, then bring to the boil. Add the sifted flour with the baking powder and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture into a bowl and mix well. Add the seeds extracted from the vanilla pod and the lemon peel, then, one at a time, the eggs and egg yolks. Pour the batter into a piping bag and pour the pancakes into a pan with oil at a temperature of 160°C. Fry, stirring frequently, then dry the tortelli and coat them in granulated sugar. For the filling, choose your favorite cream and fill the inside of the tortelli with a pastry syringe.

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