PORT ANGELES — Bella Italia’s mushroom ravioli, made famous as Twilight protagonist Bella Swan’s entree of choice, is ready to be served anywhere.
The official launch of Bella’s Mushroom Ravioli, a frozen version of Bella Italia restaurant’s famous dish, begins today, just in time for the launch of the fourth “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn, Part 1.”
“Twilight fans don’t want to hear this, but Twilight is a fad that will eventually end,” said Andrea Walden-Morden, Bella Italia social media administrator.
“The dish stands on its own,” she added.
Fans of Twilight and mushroom lovers who could not get to the restaurant at 118 E. First St. in Port Angeles to order the meal can buy a romantic Twilight dinner, two 20-ounce packages of the ravioli, for $21.98 online at www.bellaitaliapa.com.
The frozen version of the meal is available only online now.
The Port Angeles restaurant was catapulted to international fame in 2005, when Twilight author Stephenie Meyer named it as the setting for her mortal protagonist Bella Swan’s first romantic date with her vampire swain, Edward Cullen.
During the date, Swan ordered mushroom ravioli.
Bella Italia has served nearly 10,000 orders of mushroom ravioli to visitors from all over the world since Swan had hers.
“We will forever be thankful to Stephenie Meyer for writing us into the story,” Bella Italia owner Neil Conklin said.
The wild-mushroom signature special caught the attention of the author when she called to enquire about the menu while researching settings for her book.
Bella Italia has always preferred to have fresh, seasonal, local products, and the mushroom raviolis were a seasonal specialty in the restaurant, Conklin said.
“There are more varieties of wild mushroom in the Olympic Peninsula than anywhere else in the world,” he said.
A portion of all Bella’s Mushroom Ravioli sales will benefit the Quileute Tribal School and Forks High School, both of which are also featured in the Twilight saga.
Conklin said he was inspired by Paul Newman, who created a salad dressing company from which proceeds go back to the community.
“It played a big role in the quality of life in my hometown in Connecticut,” Conklin said.
The name of the dish, Bella’s Mushroom Ravioli, was intentionally vague.
It could refer to either the character in the book or the name of the restaurant, Conklin said.
There were some changes made to the recipe for the frozen version, Walden-Morden said.
The ravioli ingredients are unchanged, but some minimal changes were made to the sauce to keep it tasty through the freezing process, she said.
“It’s still all-natural, no preservatives,” Walden-Morden said.
To reach Bella Italia, phone 360-457-5442.
________Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at [email protected]