When we talk about traditional Emilia-Romagna cuisine, the first thing that perhaps comes to mind is the tortellino.
With their typical shape, which in the popular imagination mimics that of the navel of Venus, tortellini are perhaps the best known of the Italian filled pasta.
Typical of the traditional kitchens of Modena and Bologna, which have always competed for paternity, they are made with a mixture of flour and eggs, without any addition of water.
The tortellino contains many stories and legends. Its name, in the Bolognese dialect turtlén, in Modenese turtlèin, derives from the diminutive of tortello, from Italian, cake and on the origin have been told colorful versions, from which also arises the dispute over its paternity, contested between the city of Bologna and Modena.
Recently it was decided to entrust the derivation of tortellino to Castelfranco Emilia, perhaps because it was halfway between the two cities. Or perhaps because a legend is told of a landlord who was inspired by the navel of a noblewoman, who came to the inn to rest.
Tradition has it that the tortellino is prepared with a mixture of meat, namely pork loin, prosciutto and mortadella, as well as nutmeg and parmesan cheese, although today it blends with modernity. And so we have tortellini in broth of capon or chicken, tortellini with cream, which were the first variant of the classic tortellini in broth, conceived by the restaurant Cesarina in the immediate post-war period, tortellini with ragù, which are included in the recipe books from the whole world and fried tortellini, for those who love to enjoy them during a walk.
And which do you prefer?