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Tortellini literally means the bellbutton of Venus (the Roman Goddess of Love, the Greek equivalent of Aphrodite) because of the shape of it.  As the legend goes, Venus and Jupiter were going to get together one night.  When Venus checked into the inn, the chef found out.  He went to her room, and peeked through the keyhole and saw Venus there laying half naked in bed on her back, and when the chef saw her navel, he was inspired to rush to the kitchen to create a stuffed pasta that looked like her navel, and you have the legend of the famous tortellina (tortellini is plural).

Christmas eve, tortellini is cooked in brodetto (chicken broth) nothing else, but Emilia Romano cheese.  

About the size of a quarter, its a round,  wrinkled pasta filled with cheese most of the time (and of course other variant ingredients like meat).  This pasta is best served with a vodka or alfredo sauce.  Like gnocchi, its a heavy, filling dish, so if you are serving something else, you don't have to serve a whole plate of tortellini like you would with normal pasta.

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