National Tortellini Day

A plate of tortellini surrounded by colorful ingredients, a chef's hat, and a rustic Italian kitchen scene..
National tortellini day illustration

Hey there pasta lovers! Get ready to twirl your forks and celebrate because it's National Tortellini Day! This delicious occasion is all about those small, ring-shaped pockets of pasta filled with a scrumptious stuffing. Whether you like them swimming in a rich tomato sauce or tossed with some herby butter, let's dive into the history and joy of tortellini!

When is Tortellini Day?

It's national tortellini day on the 13th February.

Origins of Tortellini

Legend has it that tortellini was inspired by the navel of the Roman goddess Venus herself! Yes, even the pasta is a celestial creation, folks. According to the story, a renowned innkeeper in the Italian city of Bologna caught a glimpse of the goddess through a keyhole. Captivated by her beauty, he was inspired to create a pasta shape that resembled her belly button. And thus, the delightful tortellini was born!

The Tortellini Tradition

Tortellini quickly became a beloved dish in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It became a staple on Sundays and special occasions, often served in flavorful broths or topped with mouthwatering sauces. The traditional fillings for tortellini include a mix of pork, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg. However, you can find a variety of creative fillings today, from spinach and ricotta to lobster and truffle.

Tortellini Around the World

As its fame spread, tortellini crossed borders and made its way to different parts of the world. It's no longer limited to Italy, and you can indulge in this pasta delight in many countries today. Tortellini has become especially popular in the United States, where it's often enjoyed in comforting soups and dressed up with diverse ingredients.

How to Celebrate

Luckily for all of us, celebrating National Tortellini Day is as easy as twirling a fork! Get your hands on some fresh tortellini from your local grocery store or even try making them from scratch if you're feeling adventurous. Cook them to al dente perfection, and then get creative with your sauces and toppings. Whip up a classic marinara or Alfredo sauce, or go wild with a creamy pesto or a cheesy carbonara. Don't forget to sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on top!

Did You Know?

Tortellini has made appearances in pop culture too! In the film 'The Godfather,' the character Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone how to make tortellini while discussing their mafia business. Who knew pasta could be such a part of criminal activities, right?

History behind the term 'Tortellini'


The Birth of Tortellini

Tortellini, the delicious Italian pasta, first made its appearance in the culinary world in the year 1335. It is believed to have originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna, specifically in the city of Bologna. This stuffed pasta, often shaped like a navel or belly button, was the brainchild of talented Bolognese chefs, who sought to create a unique and flavorful dish.


Tortellini Takes Center Stage at a Royal Banquet

In the year 1604, tortellini gained royal recognition and popularity at a prestigious banquet held in the court of the Duke of Ferrara, a city close to Bologna. The banquet was organized to celebrate the marriage of the Duke's daughter. Tortellini was praised for its delicate taste and intricate shape, making it an instant hit amongst the nobility and sparking a surge in its popularity across Italy.


Tortellini becomes Widely Known Outside Italy

By the early 19th century, the fame of tortellini had spread beyond the borders of Italy and captured the attention of food enthusiasts worldwide. In the year 1817, Italian chef Salvatore Carfagna, who had traveled to Paris, introduced tortellini to the French culinary scene. French gastronomes, always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors, eagerly embraced this exquisite pasta, further adding to its international recognition.


Tortellini finds a Place in Italian Immigration

During the 20th century, millions of Italians migrated to various parts of the world, including the United States. Along with the Italian immigrants, tortellini also traveled across the Atlantic and found its place in American cuisine. It became particularly popular in Italian-American communities, where it became a beloved staple of family gatherings and festive occasions.

Present Day

Tortellini's Global Popularity

In the present day, tortellini continues to be adored and celebrated around the world. It has become a beloved dish in numerous countries, gracing the menus of Italian restaurants and inspiring creative variations. Whether filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables, tortellini remains a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Italy, delighting palates with its tantalizing flavors and charming shape.

Did you know?

Did you know that tortellini was supposedly inspired by the navel of the Roman goddess Venus? It's a pasta creation that even the gods can't resist!


food fun

First identified

13th February 2016

Most mentioned on

13th February 2017

Total mentions


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