Chefs' Recipes

Anna Maria Eoclidi's tortelli caramelle

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian recipe for tortelli caramelle (pasta filled with wild greens and beetroot) by Anna Maria Eoclidi

By Anna Maria Eoclidi
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 6
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Tortelli caramelle
"Caramelle (named for its resemblence to lollies) is a dish made for Sunday lunch or special celebrations. It is a tradition of Parma and Piacenza, and each family's recipe has its own secret or variation. Seasonal wild greens (erbette – which can include edible greens from the fields such as nettle and cress) can be used instead of spinach."
Pasta filled with wild greens and beetroot


  • 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ bunch sage leaves
  • To serve: finely grated parmesan
Pasta dough
  • 200 gm plain flour
  • 2 eggs
Ricotta and spinach filling
  • 75 gm each of English spinach leaves and wild greens
  • 100 gm ricotta
  • 20 gm (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk
  • To taste: finely grated nutmeg
Beetroot filling
  • 200 gm roasted beetroot, puréed
  • 100 gm goat's cheese
  • 50 gm ricotta
  • 20 gm finely grated parmesan


  • 1
    For the pasta dough, mound the flour and a pinch of salt onto a work surface and make a well in the middle. Add eggs and 1 tbsp of water to the well. Using a fork, beat the eggs and gradually incorporate the flour from the sides of the well. Knead, then using a pasta machine, start at the widest setting and feed dough through the rollers, reducing settings notch by notch and feeding and rolling until dough is translucent. Cut pasta into 5cm x 8cm rectangles using a fluted pastry wheel, then place onto lightly floured trays and cover with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.
  • 2
    For ricotta and spinach filling, steam spinach and wild greens until wilted, then drain and squeeze out water. Finely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add ricotta, parmesan, egg yolk and season to taste with nutmeg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 3
    For beetroot filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
  • 4
    Place a tablespoon of each, alternating the ricotta and wild greens and beetroot fillings, among each piece of pasta. Delicately roll the long edge of the pasta over the filling and gently pinch the ends so it looks like a lolly or bonbon.
  • 5
    Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook in batches until al dente (3-4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a warm, lightly oiled bowl.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan over low-medium heat, add sage and cook for 2 minutes. Add drained pasta and cook until pasta and butter are browned (2-3 minutes). Serve immediately, with parmesan.


Drink Suggestion: Ortrugo or pinot grigio.