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From the cappelletti to the rice cake, from the first courses to the desserts of the tradition, in Emilia Romagna


The Erbazzone, or scarpasoun in dialect, is a savory pie made with beets. The base is made with a dough called Foieda, then they make a thin sheet that closes the cake. Erbazzone is also made with other types of most common dough like puff pastry or brisèe pastry. The filling is made of boiled beets with eggs, onion, shallots and Parmesan cheese. In some variants they use the spinach and on the top there is diced bacon or lard.

Erbazzone photo mangiarebuono


The cappelletti are a first course of pasta that is prepared in some regions of central Italy. In Emilia Romagna they are cooked in capon broth or served with the sauce. The dish is traditionally prepared for Christmas lunch and contains a filling of mixed meat like beef, chicken, pork, ham. A low-fat version has a filling of ricotta. The shape and size of cappelletti varies from town to town.


The Casagai is a dish made of polenta. To serve the polenta they prepare pork rind cut into pieces and cooked in broth with vegetables, garlic, parsley and onion, and occasionally beans. Then they prepare a simple polenta and mix everything together. The casagai is served hot, and the remaining part is cut in slices, and fried or cooked on the grill, for another tasty version.

Torta di riso

The rice cake is a traditional dessert. It was called the dessert of decorations and was prepared for the Corpus Domini. During the festival the houses were open to everyone and people offered to drink and to eat, but this exquisite dessert was the main dish. The rice cake is prepared with rice boiled in milk, and then mixed with almonds or pine nuts, liqueur, eggs, candied citron. The result is a cake moist inside and crisp on the outside, traditionally cut into strips before serving. The original recipe is stored in the Italian Academy of Cuisine.

Rice cake photo ricettaidea

Tortelli verdi

Green Tortelli is an original dish of the district of Reggio Emilia. Traditionally is prepared for dinner on Christmas Eve and on St. John’s in June. They are called green tortelli precisely because they are stuffed with herbs, usually chard and spinach mixed together. They also add lard into small pieces, then grated Parmesan cheese and cottage cheese in the same quantities, finally chopped garlic and parsley. The dough is made with flour and eggs, finally they give shape to the stuffed tortelli. The most suitable dressing is a meat sauce or simply butter. The result is a dish perfect for the holidays, but today it is prepared more often throughout the year. A delicious variant is the ravioli with pumpkin filling.

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