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Torte, Tortelli, Tortellini & Tortelloni

From the tile of this article, some of you might think that I have been merrily playing with Italian words or possibly having too much pasta. Although being a fan of both Italian language and food, I purposely chose these similarly sounding words, Torte, Tortelli, Tortellini and Tortelloni, not to play a tongue-twister game with you, but to talk of some popular Italian foods with common roots in both their names and origins:

Origins of Tortellini

The origin of tortelli and tortellini is often filled with mystery and legend; what is agreed upon is the area where they were first created many centuries ago, called Emilia, in the north of Italy, part of the Emilia-Romagna Region. Here is where many of the best foods and traditional dishes were born, like Ragù alla Bolognese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto, Piadina and much more.

Among the many legends around how and when the delicious tortellini where first prepared, I like the one that wants Lucrezia Borgia herself as the inspiring muse of a host in an inn where she stopped while travelling. Enamored with her good looks, at night the man tried to catch a glimpse of her beauty through the keyhole of the door; but all he was able to catch was Lucrezia’s navel, which he promptly decided to replicate in the shape of something equally delightful, like a small little torta. Therefore, like for many other great Italian masterpieces, because of the love of a beautiful woman the first tortellini were born.  And we are all very pleased.

Great italian recipes for Torte, Tortelli, Tortellini and Tortelloni can be found in the section for Italian Pasta or the one for Italian Sweets, Dolci & Desserts.

Buon appetito!

Cinzia Aversa 2013

Italian Food Site @ BellaOnline
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