Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus

Trader Joe’s had this Pesto Tortellini ready and it looked delicious and good to have in the refrigerator or freezer for those nights when you want something quick and don’t really have all the ingredients on hand. 
My solution was to toss it with some garlic, black pepper, basil and asparagus and sprinkle some parmesan cheese with a drizzle of basil extra-virgin olive oil.
Simple, quick and yum.
But here are some other options of way you can toss these ready made tortellinis and raviolis available at many grocery stores.
Boil the pasta a minute less than the package instructions, and do not rinse until cold water to stop the cooking. Toss in the sauce immediately and let it continue to cook in its own and the sauces heat.
QUICK and SIMPLE ideas for pasta:
  1. 1. Heat olive oil and fry whole peeled garlic cloves with red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, basil leaves. Toss in a vegetable of your choice, such as asparagus, and add a ladle of the pasta water to make a little sauce. Toss the pasta in and coat with the seasoning and vegetables, sprinkle cheese and a flavored oil, such as basil or chili olive oil. 
  2. 2. Do the same as pt. no. 1 but add cream and cheese instead of pasta water. Make it a herb cheese sauce and toss the pasta in to the sauce immediately.
  3. 3. Cut tomato wedges and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a dried Italian herb, such as oregano. Bake the tomatoes at 400F (200C) for 10–15 minutes. Toss with the cooked pasta with the baked tomatoes, sprinkle a good Italian cheese on top.
  4. 4. Fry a LOT of minced garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Toss the pasta in it with some parsley. Crush more black pepper on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. 5. Boil the pasta half-way through. Place packed close together in a baking dish with marinara sauce or a mixture of three cheese– gruyere, parmesan and cheddar. Sprinkle the top with a bread crumb, parmesan cheese and dried oregano mixture. Bake until the top is crispy and the pasta cooked through.
Have fun at your quick pasta dinner!

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