Cook Modena’s tortellini
with Massimo Bottura’s
young adults


Association pasta Lab – Modena


Monday to Thursday, 10,30am to 1pm approx, all year except Italian public holidays and August.


10,20am in front of Ducal Palace (Modena’s Military Academy) in Piazza Roma to walk together to the Association pasta Lab.


Tour starts at 10:30 am.
Duration: about 3 hours

Why is this pasta cooking experience unique?

Cook Tortellini with love in Modena on a sustainable, qualifying, and socially-useful basis. This is so much more than shaping, cooking and eating pasta. This is not a conventional cooking class.

“Il Tortellino”, one of the culinary treasures of Modena and Bologna is well-known as the most valuable, traditional and ancient pasta size of the entire Emilia-Romagna region for its high-quality ingredients. Besides, when it is made, it is shaped and twisted thus forming a hug.

As local tour managers running food tours and storytellers of the authentic local food culture, we always tell our guests the most popular story behind the tortellino: its shape was actually inspired by women’s belly button, and one of the versions of the story is that a host and cook in Castelfranco dell’Emilia in between Modena and Bologna fell in love with a beautiful lady coming in for dinner and accommodation, that he could not keep from looking through the keyhole of her room door when she was getting undressed, so much so the only part that he could see what right the belly-button…

However, in our storytelling about Tortellino, we always add that after you have tied the two edges of dough with your hands, the hug-shape is definitively what you will see and feel the most.

Hug Is

The Keyword


A yellow (like pasta) hug – let us say – to put people together, in the first place, teenagers with autism and their “adopted grandmas” – local housewives who have made Tortellini at home for a life – so passionate and excited to be protagonist of a project that connects the entire local community and now ready to welcome guests from all over the world to be a very important part of it. They will transfer the essence of the project worldwide, which is so important for Il Tortellante’s existence.

A cooking experience to learn to make the most difficult pasta dish of the Emilia-Romagna region; being so tiny, being so rich in the filling, served in a supreme Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese cream.

Visitors deciding to participate in this foodie experience should also know that here is where most Tortellini are made for Chef Massimo Bottura’s worldwide famous restaurants: OSTERIA FRANCESCANA or Franceschetta58 – Francescana Family bistrot downtown in Modena or  CAVALLINO restaurant near the Ferrari Museum in Maranello,

About Il Tortellante and

“Massimo Bottura’s Young Adults”



Il Tortellante is an Association for Social Promotion (APS, Associazione di Promozione Sociale) regulated by Italian legislation, a therapeutic and qualifying lab where autistic teenagers and adults learn to make fresh pasta by hand. The project was started in January 2016 and the idea came from three strongly-motivated moms: Erika Coppelli, Silvia Panini and Lara Gilmore. It was integrated with educational and qualifying activities to encourage autonomy.

Gradually, it also turned out to be a good practice of inclusion by involving the whole community, a change to freedom.

With Modena more and more considered as a gorgeous and not touristy authentic foodie destination and chef Massimo Bottura increasingly the Official Ambassador of Modena and Italy also in the field of tourism, let us exhort you to be part of a “Silent Revolution” focused on inclusion, where support and cooperation will lead us to an immediate happy ending: delicious freshly-made Tortellini pasta to enjoy, all around the same table.

What we will do?

We will make tortellini all together and – obviously – eat them, either served as the most classic recipe in broth or in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cream sauce, depending on the season at the Association Lab or at their new Bottega fresh pasta shop

This activity is also a team building experience, putting together people of different age, social environment, and ethnicity. Don’t worry: making Tortellini is so common for locals that it will be natural for everyone to interact. We will speak the language of fun, solidarity, and many times we have seen that participants switching Italian-English so creatively, that we ended up laughing. Nevertheless, like in all our Artisanal Food Tour, we will be there all the time to assist you.

The pasta experience will start after the presentation of “Il Tortellante” project. This Association made of 36 families with young adults with autism has become a virtuous innovative system for social growth, sharing, passion, and tradition,

Importantly, if you take this special Cooking Class, your participation will contribute to support the families of autistic people entering the adult age.


Customize your tour!

A private tour can be customized,
if you have particular needs or food/wine interests
as far as possible;

We can add a high-speed experience

in the “Motor Valley”


Use your car!

You prefer to drive your renter-car
or you’ve hired a driver?

We will provide Google locations and
be on the spot waiting for you,
then lead you to the next locations.


Book this tour in Emilia!


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