These sweet treats continue to be made in Italy as tortellini dolci fritto, which in the modern day are filled with jam, chocolate, mousse, fried and coated in powdered sugar. The historical sweet recipes are for a ground nut-filled treat and is specified as being for lent (which Defending the Gate does take place during). (There are also savory ones filled with meat or greens.) Here’s the version from Libre per Cuoco.

We came up with this version as we had some people allergic to nuts coming to the feast. The ingredients should all have been available. We baked them for simplicity’s sake but you could also fry them in oil.


  • Pie dough (enough dough for 1 crust makes 10-15 tortelli) *if you don’t want to make your own, use prepackaged
  • dried pear 4 g
  • crystallized ginger 1 cube
  • marmalade 1/4 tsp
  • ravioli cutter


  1. preheat oven to 400F
  2. lay out parchment paper in oven tray
  3. roll out pie dough until about 1/2 the thickness you would use for a pie crust
  4. cut pie dough with ravioli cutter or into approx 2″ squares
  5. place 1 cube ginger, 4 g pear, 1/4 tsp marmalade into center of squares and fold
  6. place on tray and bake for 7-10 minutes