Giovanni Rana

Giovanni Rana

Giovanni Rana

The story of Mr Tortellini and his filled pasta empire

Mr Tortellini

The child Giovanni Rana did not want to study and so, very young, he went to work in the family bakery. He learns a lot, but the rebellious character takes over.

The economic boom of the 1950s was near and he had to invent something new.

At that time, in Veneto, where he lived, many women entered the world of work for the first time. There was less time to prepare food, let alone make stuffed pasta at home as it once was.

He gets an idea. “You go to work and I’ll take care of making tortellini” he said to the women.

And here begins a beautiful story to tell, of effort, courage and dedication.

Rana laboratory

Giovanni Rana opens a small workshop. His girlfriend, who later became his wife, was preparing the filling and Giovanni making fresh pasta.

For 18,000 lire he buys a used “Guzzino” from a pensioner: a Guzzi 65 motorcycle, on which he mounts a wicker basket.

“I fill it with tortellini and sell them door to door” she tells her family, who meanwhile were restless about this bold header.

In the laboratory, they went from two to 6. Then 15. All women, who were often paid with the same tortellini. Thus was born the Tortellini Giovanni Rana brand.

The most massive production began around the 1960s, in a factory in San Giovanni Lupatoto where the company’s headquarters are still located today.

Inventor and quasi-engineer

In those years there were no today’s machinery. “When I talked to the technicians and engineers about my ideas for more functional machinery they looked at me wrong, but I went straight, at the cost of assembling the parts of the engines myself”.

Stubborn, he got what he wanted and the tortellini went from 15 kilos to 200 quintals per hour.

From tortellini to Giovanni Rana’s gnocchi, from fresh egg pasta, such as lasagna, tagliolini, spaghetti, to fresh Rana sauces, the step was natural and the idea was brilliant. Thus he could have enriched the tables of many busy families.

The competitors of Giovanni Rana's fresh pasta? They are the grandmothers with the rolling pin

Giovanni’s fresh tortellini have come a long way and in various countries they offer typically international fillings. Yet they seem homemade. The pasta is made only of excellent flour and fresh eggs. For the filling and for the sauces, fresh ingredients are used, without preservatives, dyes, glutamate and rapeseed or palm oils.

“My competitors? They are the grandmothers with the rolling pin”. Mr Tortellini says.

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