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Turtei sguasarot

Recipe based on vino cotto, wine and tortelli filled with beans and dried chestnuts.

Turtei Sguasarot.

In 1664, the Swedish queen was a guest in Mantua, at the Gonzaga court. For the occasion, the cook Bartolomeo Stefani, from Bologna, made up some fresh pasta filled with bean puree and flavored with cacio cheese and aromatic herbs, wrapped in a eggless phyllo dough and cooked in a bean broth.That dish soon became a local tradition and over the centuries it has gradually been added new ingredients, turning from a first course dish to a dessert. 350 years later, the "turtel sguasaròt" is a piece of history that survives only in five hamlets in the area of Mantua and has been saved from disappearance by an association born in 2008. If Bartolomeo Stefani had the idea, it was in the farm houses that the “turtel” got today's shape. Fried or steamed, it contains a filling made up of beans, chestnuts and mostarda and it is served with a dressing called "pavrada" made of tangerine or orange juice, vin cotto and plum jam. It is a strong-flavoured dessert, to which vin cotto gives personality without demeaning the other ingredients. The problem of "turtel sguasaròt" is that, while having many enthusiasts, is complicated to prepare. Because of this, perhaps, he was being forgotten. Its presence today is documented only in five hamlets of Low Mantua: Borgofranco sul Po, Carbonara di Po, Felonica, Magnacavallo and Sermide. Even here, however, until a few years ago, it was almost exclusively cooked by a few elderly people. In order to save it from extinction, in 2008 a group of kitchen experts founded an association, the "Confraternita of Turtèl sguasaròt".