They are shaped after a beautiful woman's navel and should be cooked strictly in broth. What's it all about: the Tortellini! Find out with us!
"... the innkeeper, who was one-eyed and Bolognese, imitating of Venus the warlike, the art of making tortellini he learned."
A great classic of Emilian cuisine, Tortellini or turtlén (in Bolognese dialect) are a stuffed egg pasta, typical of Bologna, traditionally cooked and served in broth at weddings and religious festivals.
Christmas has just passed, but any day is good for eating tortellini!
Tortellini in history and legend
Tortellini: their shape resembles a woman's navel
Like any tradition whose origin dates back to the old past, the birth of Tortellini are blurred between history and legend.
The story goes that, at an inn near Bologna, a noblewoman stopped to stay overnight. The innkeeper, struck by her beauty, spied her through the keyhole and, inspired by the shape of her navel, decided to create tortellini.
A similar legend even features Venus, who, as a guest at an inn, sickened the innkeeper who, after seeing her navel, ran to the kitchen and originated this delightful dish.
Whether it originated from Venus' navel or that of a beautiful woman, what is certain is that tortellini originated in Emilia.
Legends aside, the history of tortellini dates back to the 12th century, when 'Tortellum ad Natale' triumphed on the tables of the Bolognese served in capon broth.
From then on, there are numerous mentions of tortellini in manuscripts and diaries from various eras.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Bertagni brothers, Bolognese pasta makers who specialized in the production of tortellini, invented a way to preserve them in tins after drying them, so that they could face long journeys. In fact, in 1904, they exported I tortellini overseas and won the Gold Medal at the Los Angeles fair.
Since then I tortellini Bolognese were known all over the world!
The official consecration of the tortellini recipe took place on December 7, 1974, when the "Dotta Confraternita del Tortellino" deposited the original recipe for tortellini in broth with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.
Tortellini: the recipe
Tortellini: the recipe
As we have said, on December 7, 1974, the "Dotta Confraternita del Tortellino," deposited, by notarial deed, the authentic recipe for the filling of the "Tortellino di Bologna" and the stages of its making, also establishing the criteria for the preparation of the broth, which must be exclusively from free-range beef and chicken.
Here is the original recipe:
Ingredients for about 1,000 tortellini:
fresh yellow pasta prepared with 10 eggs and 1 pound of flour
For the filling:
300 g pork loin browned in butter
300 g raw ham
300 g real Bologna mortadella
450 g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 chicken eggs
For the broth:
1 kg beef (doubles)
½ free-range hen
The preparation of the stuffing must be very thorough:
The loin should be rested for 2 days with a chopped mixture of salt, pepper , rosemary and garlic on top, then it is simmered with a little butter. Finally, the loin, ham and mortadella are chopped very finely, and everything is mixed with Parmesan cheese and eggs, with a pinch of nutmeg. The mixture should be mixed for a long time until it is well blended and should be left to rest for 24 hours before filling the tortellini.
Tortellini: a trivia
Tortellini also has its own celebratory day: on December 14, in fact, we celebrate National Tortellini Day.
Enjoy a mouth-watering dish of them in steaming broth!