Recipe: Basil Tortelli with Red Mazara Prawns

Words by Belmond Editors
A fine dish of seafood pasta is assembled on a simple white plate on a shiny steel kitchen worktop

This dish is close to Roberto Toro’s heart. Our Executive Chef at Grand Hotel Timeo selected authentic ingredients from all over Sicily for this ode to his homeland. Pair it with a crisp rosé from the Etna region for true Sicilian delight.


  • 200g / 1 ¼ cups durum wheat semolina
  • 80g / ⅔ cup ‘00’ flour
  • 200g egg yolk (yolk of around 8 eggs)
  • 200g / 7 oz basil leaves
  • 100g / 3 ½ oz Pecorino cheese
  • 50g / ¼ cup Parmigiano cheese
  • 10g / ⅓ oz pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30g celery (around one small stalk)
  • 40g carrots (around one small carrot)
  • 60g onion (around half an onion)
  • 100g / 3 ½ oz vine tomato
  • 400g / 14 oz red prawns from Mazara
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt


Step 1 / 6

Prepare the prawn bisque. In a saucepan, add the onion, tomatoes, carrots, celery and the heads of the prawns. Cover all the ingredients in water and let it simmer for 1 hour. Sieve the ingredients, retaining the broth. Cook the broth on a high heat until it reduces and thickens.

Step 2 / 6

Prepare the filling for the tortelli. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the basil leaves, pine nuts, Pecorino and Parmigiano, adding salt and oil as needed.

Step 3 / 6

Prepare the pasta. Mix the two types of flour with the egg yolks and knead until your dough is smooth. Then, roll the dough in a very thin layer.

Step 4 / 6

Position small quantities of filling on half of the pasta layer, keeping some distance between them (they need to become your tortelli). Cover with the other half of the pasta layer and cut into circles where you positioned the filling. Gently press the edges of each tortello to seal it and keep the filling inside while cooking.

Step 5 / 6

Boil the tortelli for a 3 minutes. Then, drain and fry the tortelli quickly with a knob of butter. Add the sauce.

Step 6 / 6

Pan fry the prawns in a pan with a little olive oil and add them to the tortelli before serving.

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