Tortellini is the pasta of legends. As the story goes, the Goddess Venus had come to stay at a tavern in the Italian city of Bologna. The owner, trying to spy on her through the keyhole, was only able to see her navel. He was so inspired by the sight that he rushed to his kitchen and created the navel-shaped pasta we now call tortellini. Now these pasta pillows of deliciousness are adored by pasta lovers all over the world. So on February 13, whether you enjoy them with butter and sage or prosciutto and parmesan, lift a fork to celebrate National Tortellini Day.
National Tortellini Day timeline
According to one legend, the shape of tortellini pasta is inspired by the navel of the goddess of love, Venus.
Bartolomeo Scappi’s recipe for a dish named ‘torteletti’ appears.
Vincenzo Tanara’s writings may be the reason for the pasta’s renaming to 'tortellini.'
The official recipe for the tortellini is registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna.
National Tortellini Day Activities
Learn to make your own tortellini
Making your own tortellini isn’t difficult and can be a wonderful afternoon project that leads to a delicious dinner. So take a class or watch a video to learn how to make these delightful little pastas in your own kitchen
Explore the tortellinis in your city
Not only will you find tortellinis in most of the Italian restaurants in your city—you will find them on many other menus, as well. Each chef has their own take on what to stuff the tortellini with and what sauce to use, so have fun trying all the options your city has to offer.
Host a tortellini dinner
What better way to bring a great group of friends together than with a great pasta dinner? Make a variety of tortellini with different stuffings and sauces, or invite your guests to each bring a different tortellini dish. However you choose to do it, good friends, good food, and possibly good wine will guarantee you a wonderful night.
Why We Love National Tortellini Day
It’s the ultimate fast food
Although you can make it yourself, tortellini can be purchased fresh from a supermarket or specialty shop near you. Cook it quickly in a pot of boiling water and top it with your favorite sauce, or mix it into a salad. Any way you like it, tortellini can be part of a delicious meal that's ready in just a few minutes after a long day.
It’s a good carb
In general, pasta can provide your body with an easy, versatile source of carbohydrates, which are an important energy source for your body. If your pasta is made with whole wheat, it may also contain fiber, which can aid in digestion, help reduce cholesterol, and stabilize your blood sugar levels. Tortellini stuffed with meat or cheese can provide a more fully rounded nutritional option.
There are unlimited ways to enjoy tortellini
Tortellini is among the most versatile of pastas. The traditional filling for tortellini is a mixture of meats seasoned with Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg and served in a capon broth, but there are also many other popular versions stuffed with different cheeses, meats, or even vegetables (such as pumpkin or brussels sprouts). Chefs all over the world have found inventive ways to stuff tortellini, making it a menu favorite at some of the best restaurants.
National Tortellini Day dates