Life Eat & Drink ‘Secret suppers’: Giorgio Distefano’s delicious chilli butter tortellini recipe

‘Secret suppers’: Giorgio Distefano’s delicious chilli butter tortellini recipe

Giorgio Distefano's chilli butter tortellini was a highlight of Red Rock Deli's secret suppers series. Photo: Red Rock Deli
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Since May, Red Rock Deli has held a series of intimate ‘secret suppers’ whipped up by some of Australia’s most in-demand chefs.

MasterChef alum Adam Liaw kicked things off with a ‘fusion adventure’ in Sydney.

This was followed by Africola founder Duncan Welgemoed’s ‘flame wars’, and Lotus Dining chef Chris Yan’s ‘a night of spice’.

The series wrapped up last Friday with an ‘elevation of the senses’-themed dinner by Ms Frankie head chef Giorgio Distefano in Melbourne.

Ms Frankie head chef Giorgio Distefano. Photo: Red Rock Deli

The Sicilian-born chef created a three-course menu that riffed on the flavours in Red Rock Deli’s new Deluxe Crisps: chilli, garlic, and lemon.

The highlight of the evening was Distefano’s main course of delicious handmade lemon and ricotta-stuffed tortellini in a chilli butter sauce.

“The Italian kitchen is usually three to four ingredients,” Distefano explained.

“It’s very simple, we try to keep an equilibrium, a harmony, so one thing’s not overpowering another. It’s a balance of tastes.”

Giorgio’s chilli butter tortellini recipe

Simplicity is key to the Italian kitchen. Photo: Red Rock Deli

Serves two



  • 300g semolina flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 60ml glass of water


  • 500g ricotta cheese
  • Lemon zest of one fresh lemon
  • 60g parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of fresh nutmeg

Butter chilli sauce

  • 1 – 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • Lemon zest


Add all ingredients to a mixer and bring together in to a firm dough.
Let pasta rest in fridge for six to seven hours. Feed the pasta dough through a pasta machine from the widest to the thinner setting. After the sheet of pasta dough has reached the requisite thickness cut into 5 x 5 cm squares and fill with ricotta filling. Close the square in triangle shapes and join opposite ends to form tortellini. Cook tortellini in boiling water for six mins.

Butter chilli sauce

In a saucepan add the butter, minced garlic, fresh red chilli and lemon zest (no lemon juice). Create an emulsion by adding some water from the pasta as required to create a light chilli-lemon butter sauce and let cook for two to three minutes. Carefully add the tortellini and sauté for two minutes until the tortellini are covered with sauce. Serve with dried lemon slices, fresh chilli and shaved parmesan.

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