The art of the rézdoura (the housewife of a thousand talents, especially in the kitchen), is taken very seriously in the region of Emilia. And it has survived in the gourmet specialties that are a calling card in this part of Italy: tortellini and ravioli, agnolotti and cappelletti. In other words, stuffed pasta. Fifty Shades of Stuffed Pasta, given the differences in shape, roundish or square, and the kinds of fillings, ranging from meat to pumpkin. The best way to avoid getting lost in this maze is to go directly to the source, the finest specialized kitchens.
Via Roma 37
Don’t expect much from the decor, but lay all your bets on the kitchen. One of the most traditional addresses in the city that is the homeland of Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar, it makes two specialties. One is cappelletti in broth. Avoid having an extra helping because then the second specialty arrives: the trolley of boiled meats.
Via Santa Caterina 51
Not just classic Bolognese tortellini, which can also be filled with mortadella, but lasagna, tagliatelle and cold cuts arranged on triumphant cutting boards. A historic address for anyone passing through the city.
Via Vedriano 187/188
Canossa, Ciano D’Enza
A warm atmosphere and Emilian management that are just as satisfying as the superlative cooking. Tortelli of (almost) every kind and size, served in very generous portions (and be sure to order the pear and chocolate cake for dessert). In summer, you eat on the terrace with a view of the hills of Reggio and the historic Canossa Castle.
AI DUE PLATANI
Via Budellungo 104 A
Prize-winning pasta dishes, all thanks to the chef, who won the “pumpkin tortello” challenge. But be sure to try the kind filled with ricotta and spinach: the pasta dough is rolled out just before cooking. There is also “pasta al torchio,” likewise made by hand and served with sauces that vary according to the season.
Via Bosco 133
Scandiano, Reggio Emilia
The kingdom of green tortelli: the big square kind stuffed with chard and Parmigiano Reggiano and served the simplest way, tossed with butter (or butter and sage). The cuisine—and the wine list—are worth the trip.
OSTERIA DEL GIRASOLE
Via Circonvallazione Nord Est, 217 Sassuolo (Modena)
A relaxing atmosphere, low lights, a wine cellar on view and, above all, the chef’s ravioli (the house specialty) are the attractions at this address off the beaten path but worth trying. In addition to homemade pasta, the “zuppa inglese”—a version of English trifle typical in this area—deserves a standing ovation.
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