When it comes to stuffed pasta, tortellini ranks right up there in my top three! Right behind ravioli, but ahead of manicotti. Then again, there are really only those three varieties of stuffed pasta in the first place. Technicalities aside, Happy National Tortellini Day!
Tortellini has a sensual history; it is rumored to be the creation of a Peeping Tom. Lucrezia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was a stunning beauty with long blonde hair, hazel eyes, and an ample bosom. One night she checked into an inn in Modena, Italy. The host was so entranced by her beauty that he spied on her through the keyhole to her room, where he caught a glimpse of her navel. Captivated by the sight, he created a pasta shaped like her belly button that very night, and to this day tortellini is also known as umbellico (“belly button”). No word on whether the pervert served the dish with two ripe cantaloupes. Others say it was the goddess Venus’s navel that inspired the dish. An alternate theory claims that tortellini represent turtles, which decorated many of the buildings in 17th-century Modena. The Bolognese, on the other hand, say these stories are bunk, and that tortellini originated in their fair burg. These guys are so hardcore about the pasta, they created the Learned Order of Tortellini, a secret group based in Bologna that is dedicated to the preservation of the pasta. During their gatherings members wear red and gold hats shaped like tortellini and ribbon necklaces adorned with a gold tortellini. Members do not speak a word until after finishing a meal of tortellini in broth. (I know I tend to joke around a lot on this blog, but I am not making this shit up, I swear!). And we poke fun at Green Bay Packers fans for wearing cheese-shaped hats on their heads…
Regardless of where it came from and what it represents, tortellini are delicious! Tara and I were looking forward to today’s challenge. And to be honest, there wasn’t anything “challenging” about it, thanks to a package of refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini and a jar of pasta sauce.
- National tortellini day (eatocracy.cnn.com)
- Easy Baked Tortellini (thelindenchronicles.wordpress.com)