Tortellini is a favorite Italian dish of many; however its origins are slightly ambiguous. Here are two legends about the creation of tortellini though neither one can be truly validated. Many theories surround the conception of the loved pasta, but these are the most popular.
One fable tells the tale that the dish was born in Castelfranco Emilia (province of Modena). A guest named Lucrezia Borgia checked into an inn in a small town. The story goes that the innkeeper over the course of the night was so mesmerized by her beauty that he couldn’t resist the urge to take a peek into her room through the keyhole. Since the room was lit with only a few candles the only glance of Lucrezia that he got was her navel. The innocent vision was enough to send the innkeeper into a passionate frenzy and inspired him to create tortellini that night!
Another separate but similar myth originated in medieval Italy. This tale tells of Venus and Jupiter at a tavern on the outskirts of Bologna. After eating and drinking they shared a room. The innkeeper enthralled by the two of them peeked into their keyhole that night and all he could see was Venus’ navel. Awestruck he hurried into the kitchen and created pasta in the likeness of the godly image.
Check out our recipe for Tortellini alla Panna con Piselli.
Donna M. Picciocchi, Editor