The best supermarket tortelloni, tried and tested 

tortellini
Tortellini in brodo at Locanda Locatelli Credit: Eleanor Bentall 

Tortelloni (and the smaller cousins tortelloni), are a belly button-shaped pasta, stuffed with all sorts of delicious fillings, originating in northern Italy. These days you’ll be hard-pressed to find a supermarket pasta aisle without them, from the classic spinach and ricotta to fancier concoctions involving butternut squash or venison.

Masha Rener, head chef at London pasta restaurant Lina Stores, an outcrop of a 75-year-old Italian deli in Soho, says: “Tortellini is a very traditional pasta, and each family has its own recipe, passed down over generations.”

In Bologna, they might be filled with mortadella, a pistachio and pepper-filled luncheon meat. In Umbria, Rener says they’re more likely to be stuffed with three meats: chicken, beef and pork. Rener likes to slow-roast meat and vegetable for the filling. But if pressed for time it’s worth going for a ready-made option. “The broth is important too – cook in free-range chicken stock.”

1. Tesco Italian sausage and ham tortelloni

£1.50 for 300g, Tesco

This one is a little stodgy and a bit too salty, but there’s a pleasant smokiness to the ham, which is somewhat offset by sharp ricotta, though the texture is slightly gritty.

6/10

2. M&S ham and cheese tortelloni

£2.20 for 400g, M&S

These are on the small side and quick-cooking. The pasta has a satisfying, slightly chewy texture. The filling is generous and creamy, but unfortunately overly salty.

6/10

3. Biona Organic green tortelloni with cheese and spinach

£3.49 for 250g, Whole Foods

Takes longer to cook due to the wholegrain pasta and feels healthier than the others. It’s small, and the filling is a little bland, but the overall taste is good, once you’ve added some salt.

7/10

4. ASDA garlic and herb tortelloni

£1.38 for 300g, ASDA

A good al dente texture and very garlicky, though not quite herby enough. These stocky little tortelloni have plenty of salty, creamy filling – they just need a more punchy herb flavour.

7/10

5. Shin of beef and chianti tortelloni

£7.50 for 295g, Waitrose

With a strong beef, wine and rosemary flavour, the generous filling tastes like a good bolognese. The pasta is thick and silky. The included sage butter and parmesan (explaining the added cost) is a nice touch.

8/10

6. Mattarello butternut squash, thyme and sage tortelli

£3.99 for 250g, Ocado

Larger than a tortelloni, these boast a thick, creamy, wintry filling using herbs delicately to great effect. Ricotta provides a tart balance, but the pasta itself is king: silky, al dente, and flavoursome.

10/10