Friday, April 18, 2014


Say it with me, people: EASY MEALS ARE BEST!  WASHING DISHES IS THE WORST!  You'll love this fabulous pasta dinner because it only requires two pots.  Hooray!

This meal is also fab because it's super versatile.  If you want a meatless meal, use cheese filled pasta.  Substitute your favorite veggies, or add even more.  I was in a rush, so I used a frozen steamer bag of broccoli and canned tomatoes (sorry, Adam).  Surely, this would taste even more scrumptious with all fresh vegetables (just ask Adam).  Fresh mushrooms are a MUST, as is refrigerated tortelloni.  The dry kind is cheaper, but those little guys just don't cook up as plumply.  Another plus about this meal is the lack of a heavy sauce.  The simple combination of extra virgin olive oil and pasta water make it perfectly saucy.  Seasoning here is key: use the amount of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper that suits your palate.

The main lineup

The flavor (tomatoes in both pics, oops)
Harris Teeter brand is my favorite, especially this flavor.  But use the kind you love!

Begin by sauteing your mushrooms with salt and pepper.  When they look done, after about 10 minutes, stir in your garlic. 

Pour in the undrained tomatoes and add some crushed red pepper.  Toss in the cooked broccoli.  Boil the pasta.  The directions call for 5 minutes, but it always seems crunchy, so I let it go 10 minutes.

When pasta is done, drain it and add it to the veggie filled skillet.

Cheese time!

Mix it up!


2 packages fresh tortelloni (9 ounces each)
1 lb sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella)
1 can petite diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano (undrained)
1 bag frozen broccoli, prepared according to package directions (or a fresh head of broccoli)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Begin boiling a large pot of water for the pasta.  Saute mushrooms in large nonstick skillet with salt and pepper.  When the water begins boiling, salt it and add the pasta.  Your mushrooms should be nicely sauteed by now, so add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute.  Add the can of tomatoes, crushed red pepper and cooked broccoli.  Simmer while pasta cooks, about 10 minutes.  Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1-2 cups starchy pasta water and set aside.  Add drained pasta to skillet with the olive oil and give it a stir.  Add pasta water until it's easily stirrable.  Mix in the cheese, adding additional pasta water if necessary.  Serve immediately.

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