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June 29th, 2003
Quick and Dirty

I give you tonight’s dinner: Quick and Dirty Tasty Tortellini.

This serves two really hungry people, or three not-so-hungry people, or possibly even four if you actually pay attention to the serving size guidelines on the pasta package.

1-1.5 cups Trader Joe’s dried pesto tortellini, before boiling. This stuff rocks. I usually don’t dig dried tortellini, prefering fresh ones, but these are really good. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, buy fresh pesto (or even plain cheese, if that’s the best you can get) tortellini.

1 BIG beefsteak tomato, chopped. I bought this puppy at the Farmer’s Market, and it’s enormous. If you can’t get a decent sized, flavorful beefsteak, use 2-3 roma tomatoes instead.

A bunch of fresh basil. It probably worked out to about 1 cup, coarsely chopped. If you can’t get fresh, don’t bother with this dish. You could substitute FRESH oregano for a different taste, you’d need maybe 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano.

4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed

4-5 fresh (or dried and soaked, if you absolutely have to) morel mushrooms, coarsely chopped (or use regular mushrooms)

Generous pinch of dried red chile flakes

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the tortellini until they’re al dente (in Claire-speak, this means fish one out and drain ‘em when it’s tender). When they’re almost done, heat up 2 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy skillet. Grind two or three turns worth of black pepper into the pan (or several shakes of pre-ground, you heathen). Add the garlic (I use a garlic press and press it right into the pan, but you could chop it first if you have no garlic press). Stir this around for a minute or two. Add the morels and tomatoes, and the red chile flakes. Saute this mix until the it starts to get saucy and the tomatoes start to break up slightly. Add the basil, stir for 30 seconds or so until it gets wilty, and pull the pan from the heat. Put your cooked tortellinis back into the big pot you boiled them in, dump on the sauce and stir to coat. Serve with (FRESHLY!) grated parmesan cheese.

Serve this with a nice big salad.

Posted by Claire at 11:10 PM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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