Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pan to Table Tortellini...it's quick and delicious!

Yes, sometimes I want a quick dinner that tastes great, all the ingredients are of good quality, and they can be purchased at the store. This dish is proof that no matter how tired, lazy, or time challenged you are, you can still put a satisfying meal on the table in less that 30 minutes. It's REAL food, and it got rave reviews at my house last night.

Pan to Table Tortellini (suggestions for a more catchy name are always encouraged)
Here's what you'll need, plus a few more ingredients which are listed below:
2 boxes of Buitoni Whole Wheat Cheese Tortellini
1/2 sweet white onion
1 red pepper
1 cup good quality marina sauce (look near the fresh pasta as the better brands are usually there)
1/2 pint of Cibo Natural Artichoke Lemon Pesto
1/4 cup frozen organic green peas
6 pitted Kalamata olives sliced in half lengthwise
5-6 small tomatoes quartered and peeled

Dice the onion and red pepper, set aside. Slice the olives and measure out the peas, then set those aside.
Add a tbsp of olive oil to a saute pan. Add the onions and pepper. Saute over medium heat until onions start to brown.
Place a pan of water on the stove and heat until it boils. Add a healthy pinch of sea salt, then let it simmer over low heat, covered, while you continue to prepare the sauce.

Add the quartered tomatoes and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the lemon pesto sauce, marinara sauce, frozen peas and olives. I use olives sparingly as I love the flavor, but too many is overpowering and makes your sauce too salty. Let this simmer for 15 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, bring your pasta water back up to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes, or to your liking. Using a small strainer, or slotted spoon, take the tortellini right from the pasta water to the sauce. This is the authentic Italian way. The starch from the pasta thickens your sauce a bit:
Gently toss the tortellini into the sauce. Shave ricotta salata cheese over the top, and if you want to keep it simple, bring the pan right to the table and dive in. I served a small green salad on the side, which we like to eat after the pasta as a brush for the tummy. Enjoy!

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