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Tortellini: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Stuffed pasta varieties are one of the most well-known types of pastas in the world. They come in different shapes and sizes, from simple circular ones like ravioli to more intricate ones like tortelli piacentini. Today’s pasta is tortellini, a simple yet elegant type of stuffed pasta. Have you heard of it?  

Tortellini gets its name from tortello, the Italian word for “small pie” or “small cake.” Its origin is widely disputed, with Bologna and Modena both claiming to be the birthplace of the pasta shape. Either way, the pasta comes from Emilia-Romagna, a region in Northern Italy. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about tortellini pasta and provide delicious recipes you can try yourself. Let’s dive in!

Tortellini: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about Tortellini: 

Pasta Shape:Tortellini
Pasta Type:Stuffed Pasta
Origin:Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Meaning:Italian term for “small cake” or “small pie”
Similar Shapes:Tortelloni, Ravioli, Agnolini

Where Did Tortellini Originate?

One of the most well-known and adored pasta varieties in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna area, tortellini pasta is said to have its roots in both the provinces of Bologna and Modena. Tortellini is prepared differently in each province, but both are equally delicious and are staples during local holidays and celebrations. 

Nowadays, you can find tortellini in every part of the world, especially where Italian immigrants have settled. Although most recipes on the internet showcase new and fancy ways of cooking tortellini, serving it in a meaty broth is still the most classic and traditional way.

What Does Tortellini Mean?

The word “tortellini” is an Italian term for “small cake.” The word “tortellino” comes from “tortello”, which means “cake” or “pie” in Italian, implying the way in which tortellini are filled just like little pies.

What Is the Difference Between Tortellini and Tortelloni?

To put it simply, a tortelloni is just a larger version of a tortellini. While tortelloni are traditionally filled with a mixture of vegetable ingredients such as spinach and ricotta, tortellini is usually stuffed with a mixture of meat, cheese, and egg fillings. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Tortellini Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with tortellini pasta:

Skillet Tuscan Tortellini

This simple yet elegant dish consists of homemade cheese and sausage-stuffed tortellini swimming in a flavorful tomato and meat sauce. The soft and chewy pasta pairs well with the robust sauce, making it an easy dinner favorite. 

Classic Tortellini in Brodo

An Italian staple, this dish is perfect for any occasion. Warm, delicious, and nostalgic, this pork-filled pasta floating in a savory chicken broth is not only good for your body but for your soul as well. 

Final Thoughts 

Because of its unique shape and rich history, tortellini is one of the most popular pasta varieties in the world. The pasta’s elegant and distinctive shape allows it to shine even in the most simple broths. If you’re looking to try making pasta at home, give tortellini a try!

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