Tortellini is a type of pasta that originates from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, particularly the area around the cities of Bologna and Modena. These small, ring-shaped pasta are traditionally stuffed with a mixture of meats (such as pork loin, prosciutto, or mortadella), Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, egg, and nutmeg. However, there are numerous variations that include different fillings, such as ricotta and spinach, making them suitable for vegetarians as well.

The pasta is made by rolling out thin sheets of dough, placing small amounts of filling on them, and then folding the dough over the filling to form a ring shape. The ends are then twisted to seal the filling inside, creating the characteristic navel shape that tortellini are known for. This shape is said to be inspired by the navel of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, giving the pasta a romantic lore.

Tortellini are usually cooked in broth, served in a rich, savory soup, or they can be boiled and served with a sauce, such as a simple butter and sage sauce, tomato sauce, or a cream-based sauce. They are a staple of Italian festive feasting, especially during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, but are enjoyed year-round for their delicious taste and satisfying texture.

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