Marco Donnini’s nonna is a native of Modena and has always made tortellini. In his family, eating tortellini is a very well respected tradition at every Easter and Christmas feast. He says this recipe for tortellini is a popular favourite, having been on the menu of his restaurant for more than 30 years.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (16 votes)


  • bunch of fresh spinach, plus extra for filling
  • 100 g of flour
  • 1 egg


  • 100 g of ricotta (per person)
  • 20 g parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Boil down and blend the spinach. Mix the spinach, flour and egg with your hands, until it forms a pasta dough (that shouldn't be too wet or too dry). Once you get to a silky and smooth consistency place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

While the pasta is resting make the filling. Mix the ricotta and parmesan together and season with salt and pepper. Add a handful of spinach per person, boiled down and chopped up finely. Stir to combine, then add a little fresh nutmeg to the mixture and incorporate the mascarpone. The mix should come together as a cream and it should be possible to place the mix into a piping bag.

Process the pasta dough through a pasta machine, leaving it a little bit thick. Pipe some of the ricotta mix in the middle of the dough and fold it over in half. Press out any air pockets and then cut the dough into squares. Then fold the squares into a triangle and wrap the ends together to join. They should sit up nicely like little hats.

Serve them with a very simple dressing like butter and sage, or some extra virgin olive oil.