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“The Learned Order Of The Tortellini” Is Dedicated To The Preservation Of The Traditional Tortellini.

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, tortellini, 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.
  • Tortellini are small ring shaped pasta stuffed with meat or cheese.
  • Tortelloni  are larger than the bite-sized tortellini.
  • They are also called “umbellico” pasta due to their belly button shape.
  • The “tortellino” is quite rightly the symbol of Bologna’s cuisine, because it combines the inimitable flagrance of rolled pasta with the flavour of a rich filling: all the specialties of Bologna’s cuisine are captured in a single mouthful.
  • Up until the 19th century tortellini were confined to the tables of the more affluent members of society, or were served up only on holidays.
  • The first legend to be linked to tortellini takes place in Castelfranco Emilia, a province of Modena. According to the tale, a beautiful woman named Lucrezia Borgia stopped at an inn during her travels. Captivated by her beauty, the host of the inn peeked into her room at night through the keyhole where he caught a glimpse of the beauty’s navel in the candlelight. The sight inspired him to create a pasta in a similar form—the tortellini.
  • A second legend is somewhat related. This story revolves around Venus and Jupiter who went to a tavern in Bologna. Weary from battle, they enjoyed copious food and drink and finally retired for the night in a shared room. Captivated by the two, the innkeeper tried to peek through the keyhole where he saw Venus’ navel, which inspired him to create the tortellini.
  • The final legend explains that the tortellini was created to replicate the architecture of 17th century Modena buildings, which often used a turtle motif.
  • It is unclear which legend is true, but what we know for sure is that the oldest tortellini recipe dates all the way back to 1570.
  • An app has been created by a group of young graphic designers from Modena, Italy teaching people how to make tortellini.


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