It’s National Tortellini Day!
There’s a “National Day” for everything, it seems, right? But this one caught my eye because, well, who doesn’t love tortellini?
I don’t recall my mother ever making it. Being Italian, my family had plenty of pasta in our lives, but we were pretty much restricted to spaghetti, mostaccioli, macaroni, bow ties, and occasionally orzo. (Although, in fairness, grocery stores in my day were decidedly limited compared to the super-stores we shop at today,)
So I began wondering just how long has tortellini been around? Macaroni has been available in mercantiles throughout the west, and the noodles filled many a cowboy’s stomach, but something as fancy as tortellini?
Well, lo and behold, tortellini has been around a lo-ong time.
Legend claims that Tortellini was inspired by the goddess Venus’ navel. An Italian medieval legend tells how Venus and Zeus, weary one night after their involvement in a battle between Bologna and Modena, arrive at a tavern in a small town on the outskirts of Bologna. After eating a hearty dinner and becoming slightly drunk, they decide to share a bedroom. The innkeeper, captivated after watching them, creeps to their room and peeks through the keyhole of the bedroom door. However, all he can see through the keyhole is the navel of Venus. This vision leaves him spellbound – so much so that he immediately rushes to the kitchen and creates a pasta inspired by Venus’ navel…and so was born the Tortellini.
Cool, eh? Fun, fascinating, and true? Maybe. Maybe not.
It’s a legend, right? But I’ll bet you’ll always remember that tortellini was inspired by a famous goddess’ belly button! I know I will.
How about I share a super-simple and refreshing salad recipe?
Tortellini Caesar Salad
3 Tb lemon juice
2 Tb water
1 1/2 Tb vegetable oil
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 close garlic, crushed
9 oz cheese tortellini, cooked, drained, and cooled
1 head lettuce, cut up
Plenty of FRESH grated parmesan cheese
Combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.
Place lettuce and tortellini in a large bowl. Toss in dressing and top with parmesan cheese.
**Note: I never make the dressing included in the recipe but use a good bottle of Caesar salad dressing. The above recipe is low in calories, but the dressing is what a salad is all about, right?
Happy National Tortellini Day!
How about you? Do you love legends? What’s your favorite? Robin Hood? Lady Godiva?
Do you love pasta? How do you prepare your tortellini?
Please share, and since Valentine’s Day is TOMORROW, I’ll send one of you who comments this gold, sparkly, heart-shaped bottle opener!
Happy Valentine’s Day!