Special tortellini made with silk thin golden pasta sheets are the symbol of the love story between a commander and a nymph
Valeggio sul Mincio is a small beautiful town in the province of Verona. Originally a village of ancient mills, it lies on the banks of the Mincio river, the main outlet of Lake Garda. Indeed, the focal point for the entrance to the village is the Visconti Bridge; better known as Ponte Visconteo. The most typical recipe from Valeggio sul Mincio is that of a particular kind of tortellini that got its name from a romantic legend. Each single bite is called ‘Nodo d’Amore’ or, in English, ‘love knot’.
The legend, dating back to the 13th century, features no less than a court jester, some nobles, nymphs, witches, and soldiers. The commander of a troop, Malco, and a beautiful nymph called Silvia fell deeply in love. When they had to flee, to escape the count troops who had the order to kill them, they disappeared into the Mincio. However, before moving to the nymph’s underwater world, they left behind a golden knotted handkerchief as a symbol of their undying love. Since that day, Love Knots have become the symbol of this love.
The local restaurant association even organizes a Love Knots festival in honor of this delicious pasta parcel and Malco and Silvia’s love story
This special pasta is made in pasta houses and homes across Valeggio with silk thin golden egg pasta sheets. These are filled with delicate spices and a mix of different kinds of minced meat before being tied in a little knot. Thus, their shape is slightly different from that of the Emilia tortellini. Moreover, the Nodi d’Amore are also served fried as a crunchy and tasty original streetfood.
The local restaurant association even organizes a Love Knots festival in honor of this delicious pasta parcel and Malco and Silvia’s love story. Every year, in June, Ponte Visconteo is closed to traffic and lined with tables for a big romantic feast. On the occasion, over 550,000 pasta knots are served to those that have come together to celebrate love and taste.
Ilona Catani Scarlett