This is so simple it almost doesn’t deserve to be in a post, yet so delicious I needed to share it.
The oddly-shaped and amazingly sweet vegetables are the heroes of this dish. Enhancing their flavour by doing very little is the key. Thank you, Tanya (and your dad!), for gifting me with these beauties! The tortellini itself is unashamedly store-bought, but is a dried variety from Italy that holds it shape once cooked and has a lovely, three-cheese filling. And it makes for a delicious and quick mid-week meal.
250 g dried, cheese-filled tortellini*
handful baby carrots
handful cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
50 g butter
sea salt and ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
Serves 4 as an entree or 2-3 as a main meal
Prepare the tortellini according to the packet instructions. Ensure the water is lightly salted and boiling before pouring in the dried tortellini.
While the tortellini is cooking, prepare the vegetables. If they are of the garden variety, ensure they are well washed but leave the skin on. I think they taste better that way! Cut the tops of the carrots if you wish and slice in half length ways. Cut the zucchini in half length ways and then slice into coarse pieces. Cut the tomatoes in half.
Place a large frying-pan on a medium heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and half the butter. Saute the garlic for one minute and then add the carrots and zucchini. Cook gently until almost tender and then add the tomatoes, preferably when the pasta has only a couple of minutes to go. Season well to taste and turn off the heat.
When the tortellini is ready (al dente, just slightly chewy, preferably), use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer it directly to the sauteed vegetables. It doesn’t matter if a little of the starchy pasta water makes its way into the pan. This helps to thicken the sauce. Toss the pasta through the vegetables and add the remaining butter and most of the parsley. Serve and garnish with the remaining parsley scattered on top, and accompany with a crisp rosé
for an even more perfect and simple dining affair.
*Dried tortellini can be purchased from a good European deli and some supermarkets. For Melbourne people, I buy mine from Mediterranean Wholesalers