Surely the most famous recipe for ragout stems from Bologna. "Bolognese" is normally eaten as a sauce, but not at Federico Testa's restaurant. His Bosco restaurant serves the ragout as a filling in tortelloni.
Federico Testa: "Eating in Italy plays a very important role."
Federico Testa was born in Bologna in 1982. His father operated a successful restaurant in the city for 35 years. When Federico Testa moved to Berlin with his best friend in 2008, he never guessed that he would end up following in his father's footsteps.
The trained photographer dreamed of having a career in music. But things turned out a little differently than expected. He and his best friend regularly cooked for friends, and their Italian specialities gained such a following, that they opened up a small kitchen in Wedding, and later, a pub. In late 2014, Testa opened up his current restaurant, Bosco, in Kreuzberg.
Bosco in Berlin's Kreuzberg district
Over 27,000 Italians live in Berlin, more than 4,000 in the German capital's Kreuzberg district. Federico Testa is one of them. The neighborhood is also where his restaurant called Bosco is located. There, along with his exclusively Italian team, he serves up Italian dishes made from the best ingredients.
Tortelloni with ragout, ricotta, and spinach
For the ragout:
For the tortelloni dough:
For the ricotta-parmesan mousse:
For the spinach:
For the parmesan chips:
To make ragout, peel onions and carrots, wash celery. Dice vegetables and place in a pot. Add ground beef and fry until ingredients sizzle. Stretch tomato sauce with a bit of broth, then deglaze vegetables with sauce and add fresh thyme and rosemary. Simmer ragout for two to three hours, then strain through a sieve. Retain sauce and set meat aside to fill tortelloni.
To make ricotta-parmesan mousse, bring cream to a boil and dissolve gelatin in cold water. Using a mixer, whip cream, parmesan, egg whites, and ricotta to form stiff peaks, then stir in gelatin. Allow to set for two hours.
In the meantime, prepare tortelloni dough. Combine flour, egg yolks, and eggs to form a smooth dough. Cover and chill for around 30 minutes.
Then fill the tortelloni. To do so, first sprinkle a little flour onto the work surface and roll out dough. For best results, dough should be 2-3 mm thick. Then cut dough into squares 4 cm x 4 cm in size. Place a teaspoon of ragout filling in the middle of each square. Then fold squares diagonally to form small triangles. Pull two sides of the triangle outwards and fold behind, over index finger. Gently press the ends together and cook tortelloni in boiling water for four to five minutes. Heat a splash of olive oil, a tablespoon of water, a little butter, and pinch of salt in a pan and cook tortelloni for an additional three minutes at low heat.
Sauté spinach at medium heat for four minutes with olive oil, salt, and garlic cloves. Remove garlic cloves before serving. To make parmesan chips, finely slice Parmigiano Reggiano. Place in a glass tray and cover with wax paper. Then microwave for 45-75 seconds (depending on microwave power).
Place around five tortelloni in a circle on each plate. Plate spinach between the tortelloni. Spoon ricotta-parmesan mousse into the middle, and garnish with parmesan chips.
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