Kitchen Adventure: OWN this pasta

[Note: reposted to get rid of the ads – pardon the duplication!]

I am going to let this picture speak for itself, and say that I never thought that tortellini could get any better.

But I am so glad to be proven wrong, and to eat the proof.

Tortellini with Spinach, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of fresh cheese tortellini (9 oz)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 package of fresh baby spinach (6 oz)
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 10 large leaves of basil, chopped
  • 1/3 lb salmon (optional)

Hungry yet?  Yeah, me too.  (I mean, I did start cooking around 8…)

  1. Cook pasta as directed on the package.  Set aside.
  2. If making salmon, brush the fish with a dab of olive oil and two large basil leaves and let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Cook salmon at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, until it flakes with a fork.
  3. Heat pine nuts in a medium non-stick skillet.  Be careful not to let them burn – it happens quickly!  Just watch until oil starts to seep out and pull them off the skillet, adding them to the bowl with pasta.
  4. Heat oil, and add garlic to the pan.  Cook about two minutes, stirring often.  Add spinach to the pan (personal opinion: you can never have enough spinach.  Unless you know you’ll use it in an omelet or salad later, throw it all in there!).  Cook spinach until it wilts.
  5. Add basil to the spinach/garlic mixture, and throw the pasta and pine nuts into the pan as well.  Cook for a few minutes, then add in the cheese and give it a good stir.  (By mixing in the pan, you’re more likely to soak in all these delicious flavors, rather than leaving them in the pan at the end of the day.)
  6. If adding salmon, divide into three or four pieces and add as a garnish, flaking it with a fork.

And there you go!  This made a healthy, hearty dinner and amazing, fragrant leftovers.  I am already planning to make it again, and the dishes aren’t even dry yet.  Now THAT’s what I call success.

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