Tortellini are a type of stuffed pasta typically filled with meat and cheese, they look like small Asian dumplings. Making one is nearly similar as the Asian counterpart but bit trickier due to its small size, that is why the fresh packed version is becoming popular compared to making them at home. Usually this pasta is served in two ways which is either with a sauce or in a soup.
Tortellini originally came from the Italian region of Emilia and its invention is surrounded by different legends. One legend says that it was invented by Castelfranco Emilia and was inspired by the navel of Lucrezia Borgia the beautiful illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia also known as Pope Alexander VI. The story says that Lucrezia checked into an inn in the small town and every night Castelfranco could not resist peeping through Lucrezia’s room through the keyhole and since the peephole was so small the only thing Castelfranco saw was her navel, that image inspired him to create this pasta that night after the shape of the navel. Another similar legend says that it was inspired from Venus’s navel when Venus and Jupiter shared a room in an inn in the outskirts of Bologna after consuming lots of drinks. Like Castelfranco the innkeeper peeked through the keyhole and only saw Venus’s navel. Finally the most possible of all legends is that this pasta was shaped into a form of a turtle which is a common architectural motif in Modena during the 17th century.
For this recipe I opted for the store bought Tortellini which is available fresh in supermarkets here in New Zealand, the flavour I chose was the Bacon and Mozzarella and here is the recipe for the sauce I used.
1 pack fresh tortellini
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
10 pcs tomatoes, chopped
2 cups beef stock
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan cheese
1. Cook tortellini according to packet instructions, drain then set aside.
2. In a pan add butter and sauté garlic and onion.
3. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes the cook until soft.
5. Add flour and mix well while adding slowly the beef stock. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add basil, oregano and sugar. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
7. Place tortellini in individual plates; pour sauce on top, sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top. Place plate in a 200C preheated oven, bake for 4 minutes or until mozzarella melts.