The so called “sfoglia“, that is to say the pasta sheet, is the base ingredient of several dishes of the Emilia Romagna region cuisine. It can be considered the local specialty which has made Bologna famous in the world. The “sfogline” or pasta ladies (because they are mostly women) are the guardians of the egg pasta tradition which is transmitted from generation to generation. The pasta sheet is traditionally made by hand and has very ancient and very poor origins. In facts, it was invented in a time of poverty, but also ingenuity. Made with just two simple ingredients which everybody could find in his pantry, eggs and flour, kneaded together created a dish providing a pleasant relief after a day of hard work.
We don’t know exactly when the pasta sheet was created and who invented it. However it was already diffused among the Etruskan people in the IV century BC and the Roman people ate the so called laganum, a kind of lasagna. In the Middle Ages a stuffed pasta called torteleto was very popular and it was probably invented in Tuscany. However, if you ask to a Bolognese, the traditional tortellini pasta was created by a host of Castelframco Emilia, a little village between Bologna and Modena, who took inspiration from Venus’ belly bottom. During the Renaissance egg pasta was a very popular and refined dish especially in the Este court.
The pasta sheet is still today the starting point for delicious dishes which are famous all over the world, such as tortellini, tortelloni, lasagne, tagliatelle, tagliolini, ravioli and more.
Credit: Emilia Romagna region