Sunday, October 06, 2019

Roasted For Fall

Now that cooler weather has finally least for a little while...I'm so happy to be making dishes like chili and roasted vegetables. I finally have some energy for cooking, too. Hope to be posting more in the future.

I don't often shop at Whole Foods because we have local markets that have wonderful foods that aren't so expensive, but I did shop there recently and found that they carried a tortellini pasta stuffed with almond milk ricotta by Kite Hill. I've enjoyed the Kite Hill ricotta so I had to try the tortellini. I decided to serve them with veggies that had been roasted with what I think of as 'Scarboro Fair' herbs of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I topped the pasta and veggies with toasted pine nuts for a delicious vegetarian meal.

If this pasta isn't available in your area and if you can consume cheese, you can make the same sort of recipe with any cheese stuffed tortellini. The key thing here is to use a lot of water for cooking the tortellini, salt the water, and pay attention so that the pasta is just cooked al dente. Have the vegetable mixture cooked and hot and ready to eat when the pasta is done, and the pine nuts can be toasted while the pasta cooks since both only take a few minutes.

Use your favorite mixture of vegetables. Cut them so that they are all about the same size, and that should be bite sized or a bit smaller. Unfortunately I didn't measure the amounts of herbs that I used, so this is really a recipe for confident cooks who know their flavors. The same is true of the olive oil, salt, pepper, and amount of pine nuts...not measured. Sorry. So this isn't really a recipe but more a suggestion of a combination that worked and will work for you if you have some experience.

My sister suggested that this would also work with vegetables that you don't roast, for example peas and jarred roasted red peppers which you would heat up and season as desired (maybe with caramelized onions?). If I were doing those two, I'd probably make a non-dairy 'cream' sauce, toss the drained pasta in that sauce and then add the peas and peppers and onions on top then sprinkle on toasted pine nuts.

For those who are interested, our daughter is settling in nicely in her new home.

Roasted Vegetables Over Stuffed Tortellini With Pine Nuts
Serves 4

6-7 cups mixed vegetables, peeled and ends cut off as needed and cut into bite sized pieces. I used mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, green beans, butternut squash (seeds removed too), red onion.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
about 2 tablespoons minced parsley
about 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
about 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
about 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
9 oz. fresh ricotta stuffed tortellini pasta
salted water
about 3-4 tablespoons pine nuts
1-2 teaspoons olive oil or butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 580 degrees F. Prepare a shallow baking pan with a rim by lining it with heavy duty foil. Set aside.

In a large plastic bag, shake the vegetables with the oil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and salt and pepper to taste (I didn't use any salt, but was generous with the pepper).

Pour the seasoned vegetable mixture into the prepared pan and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. and roast for another 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking at the reduced temperature, bring a large pot of water to boil, then add about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return to the boil, then add the tortellini and simmer until the pasta is al dente.

while the pasta is cooking, dry toast the pine nuts in a non-stick skillet, stirring often, until light brown in places. Set aside.

When pasta is cooked enough, use a slotted spoon to remove the pasta from the water and place in the center of a large platter or wide, shallow serving bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then pour off the rest of the water. Return the pasta to the pot and add 1 teaspoon of the oil or butter or margarine. Add some pepper and stir over low heat. If pasta looks too dry, add some of the pasta water or additional oil. Only cook in dry pot for 1 minute, then return pasta to serving platter or bowl.

Top pasta with the roasted veggies and top those with the toasted pine nuts.

Serve at once. If desired, pass a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

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