The importance of Tortellini
The origin of tortellini is disputed between Modena and Bologna, so much so that it is placed in Castelfranco Emilia, halfway between the two capitals. According to the popular imagination the shape of tortellini remind the navel of Venus, named into question with Vulcano about the origin of this delicious food. The shape resembles a small nicely coiled ring, traditionally associated navel of Venus.
The tortellini is a typical pasta of Emilian cuisine, especially during the holiday season.
Even today, the tortellini is considered one of the symbols of Emilia and Bologna area with the mortadella, the Bolognese sauce and tagliatelle, and in Emilia in fact never miss the Christmas menu.
The filling consists of an amalgam of various meats originally chosen between loin of pork, calf, mortadella, ham – depending on the area and the family tradition – then eggs, Parmesan and nutmeg. The authorship of the recipe is always contention between Bologna and Modena. It is very old and already the historian Bologna Cervellati noted that in Bologna in the twelfth century, they were eaten “tortellorum to Christmas”.
Given the confusion that has always created over the “perfect” filling for the tortellini, the “Brotherhood of tortellini” in 1974 deposited the original recipe for tortellini filling consisting of: pork loin, prosciutto, mortadella Bologna, Parmesan cheese, eggs and nutmeg. Always according to the original filed, the dough for tortellini simply has to be made with flour and eggs and each tortellini must be made from a piece of sheet of 4 cm per side.
According to Bologna experts, tortellini can be only in broth, possibly capon, a cockerel born between April and May and castrated in August, when it reaches a weight of about a pound and a half. Today more and more we tend to prefer a mixed broth of chicken and veal, with the inevitable vegetables.
Some Bolognese who do not like the broth accompanying them with the cream, and some, to the horror of purists, even eat them with meat sauce.
Today tortellini, known and appreciated throughout Italy and also outside it, are accompanied with various sauces that have nothing to do with the original gastronomic tradition, because the intense flavor of the tortellini according to the original preparation can hardly be appreciated with these different accompaniments.
The difference between cappelletti and tortellini is not clear to most people. It is a very subtle difference, so that perhaps only those who live in between Emilia and Romagna and gourmet fans know it. The Emilia and the Romagna are in fact from a gastronomic point of view two distinct regions, with different traditions and historically home of several well-typical products.
Tortellini are one of the best dishes and the tastiest Italian dishes. They require patience, dedication in the preparation and selected ingredients, elements that make this dish unique and inimitable!
Beyond the above mentioned dispute about the origin of tortellini, a special mention need the Tortellini of Valeggio. With a shape which reminds more cappelletti, this type of stuffed pasta originated in the province of Verona and just to the south of Lake Garda: Valeggio that has made this Tortellino its own gastronomic symbol to obtain recognition P.A.T. The traditional Italian food products (PAT) are products included in a list, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in collaboration with the regions. Made with a thin sheet of eggs and flour, cut into small squares, the filling is characterized by the using of beef, pork, chicken, natural flavorings (onion, carrot, celery and rosemary), Bardolino wine and a bit of bread grated (depending on the recipe) cooked together. After cooking, it grinds the whole mixing to obtain a soft dough. The tradition wants that every year on the third Tuesday of June is celebrated the “Celebration of Love Knot” on the Visconteo Bridge in Valeggio sul Mincio to honour this dish.
The first edition dates back to 1993 and was organized to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the construction of the Visconti Bridge, an imposing fort built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, to protect the eastern borders of his possessions. Conceived and managed by the Association of Restaurateurs of Valeggio, the festival involves the town council and all trade associations and counts on the entire village of Borghetto sul Mincio.