pasta with butter and cheese

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      I am an Italian American with a mixed background. I love pasta with butter and cheese, particularly tortellini. I have been told that this is un-Italian by both my ethnically German (mostly Swiss-German) mother and my Italian father, both American born. My mother keeps telling me that is the German way of eating pasta, not an authentic Italian way of eating it. In other words, I am mixing cuisines, she says. It is like putting soy sauce on pasta- it could work, but that is definitely fusion. So, i have been kind of ashamed of it. I assumed that buttered noodles and spatzle (both in broadly German cuisine, including Swiss German food) were the only kind of pasta or noodles with butter and or cheese. my butter and cheese tortellini was thus fusion food. But then I got rebellious an looked it up. While i cannot find any evidence for authentic Italian or Italian American tortellini with butter and cheese, I did find some evidence that butter and cheese is indeed part of Italian cooking traditions. I count Italian food as acceptable for both Italian and Italian American cuisine but Italian American innovations as only proper outside of Italy. so garlic and olive oil sauce is good for either, so is pesto sauce, but marinara is really only for Italian American restaurants, although i assume some parts of Italy must have something similar. Now, i think that cacio e pepe from the region around Rome qualifies as butter and cheese pasta that is authentically Italian. i believe that certain forms of Alfredo sauce also qualify. However, is there anything like tortellini in parmesan and butter sauce that would count as Italian or at least Italian American?

      Thanks so much.


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