Pasta lovers will enjoy a traditional stuffed pasta during National Tortellini Day on February 13!
Tortellini is a signature dish from the Italian region of Bologna, where they claim to have created this stuffed pasta packed with flavor. Ravioli, tortelloni and tortellacci are all part of the same family of stuffed pasta. The most common fillings for tortellini are ham, white meat and Parmesan cheese.
An organization called The Learned Order of the Tortellini in the city of Bologna has its members wear to the meetings red and gold hats that are shaped like tortellini. They also wear a ribbon, around their neck that has a gold shaped tortellini hanging on it. The Learned Order of the Tortellini has a large membership that is dedicated to the preservation of the traditional tortellini.
There are many ways to prepare a tortellini dish. You may want to top it with a cheese sauce, cream sauce, pesto or tomato sauce, or follow one of the thousands of cooking blogs available for a great tortellini recipes.
The history of Tortellini
Tortellini, the emblematic dish of the Bologna region of Italy, are considered more than appropriate for grand occasions. They should be accompanied by red wine, preferably Lambrusco, which also originates from Emilia-Romagna. Legend has it that a tavern-keeper in Bologna glimpsed the infamous femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia’s navel while spying on her through a keyhole, prompting him to immediately reproduce vision in pasta, thus inventing tortellini. This legend is also why the their alternative name is “belly button” (ombelico).
Another similar legend originating in medieval Italy tells us about how the Roman gods Venus and Jupiter decided to spend the night in a tavern in Bologna after spending the whole day helping the surrounding regions to fight a war amongst themselves. After eating, they went to their room, but the tavern keeper was so captivated by Venus’ beauty that he attempted to look at her through the door’s keyhole, much like in the aformentioned legend. As the room was dark but for a few candles, all he could see was her navel, and the sight inspired him to recreate the heavenly vision in pasta as well.