Thursday, February 13, 2014

National Tortellini Day - Feb. 13th; Chef Delilah Winder

Chef Delilah Winder
A Philadelphia native, Winder is a restauranteur (she had 6 at one time) and author (Delilah's Everyday Soul cookbook), the Queen of Macaroni and Cheese (according to Oprah). She was raised in a time where women were expected to be housewives (a liberal arts degree was to make a gal well-rounded for husband-hunting), not pursue careers. Her focus has shifted from heavier meals to healthier ones, closed her restaurants, and works around the country conducting demonstrations on healthy cooking.

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February 13th is Tortellini Day! Have you ever wondered why there are so many different shapes of pasta? Basically, and vastly over-simplified, it's because of the sauces. Different sauces -- light, heavy, creamy, chunky -- work best with particular shapes of pasta.

Here's an interesting tidbit about tortellini, from an interview with Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy about their book The Geometry of Pasta:
"Tortellini, which I love — tiny tortelloni, they’re normally filled with mortadella and prosciutto. Their shape — reputedly at least — is based on the shape of Lucrezia Borgia’s navel," [Kenedy] says. "And when you eat them, particularly in a very light sauce... so you can really feel the pasta shape, it is slightly erotic if you think about it enough."
Growing up, I really didn't realize just how many pastas there truly were (hundreds). For us it was spaghetti, macaroni, and rotini. I'm still searching for the perfect macaroni and cheese... and I have got to ask my sister-in-law for the recipe for the mac and cheese she made for this last Christmas...  

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