They say that the shape of tortellini was inspired by Venus’ navel, which was so beautiful that a chef in Emilia-Romagna created the pasta in its image. According to legend, he spied her belly button through the keyhole of a country inn. And that was all he could see. My, how times have changed! If Venus were alive today, odds are that her belly button would be pierced and on public display. She’d probably have a few tattoos too. Personally, I remain in the small minority that has been neither pierced nor tattooed. When asked if he would ever get a tattoo, my brother Philip simply replied: “Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?”
Inspired by the goddess of love herself, tortellini are delicious in tomato sauce, broth, cream –really in any sauce. So quit navel gazing, and go make yourself a bowl of tortellini alla panna!
In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter, add the cream and Parmigiano, stirring constantly until the cream is reduced in half. Add the peas to the cream sauce.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook the tortellini until al dente (about 2 minutes less than package directions). Reheat the cream mixture, and use a [wire-mesh] strainer to remove tortellini from the pot into skillet with cream and peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water.
use fresh tortellini with meat, but cheese or any filling will work