Two in a row

March 15, 2010

First try at pesto cream sauce -- success! And not bad out-of-season tomatos.

I may be about to make a convert, here. Child/sous chef C helped me turn out some cheese tortellini in pesto cream sauce tonight.

Maybe she would’ve liked it even if she hadn’t shed real tears over the shallot she minced. (A shallot? Seriously?) And I note that the second night in a row peeling and mincing garlic shows a decided improvement.

But, hey, this was some good stuff. And took even less time than last night’s effort, courtesy of Buitoni frozen tortelllini-in-a-bag and pesto-in-a-plastic-dish. Maybe it’ll get me on Semi-Homemade. If I’m perky enough.

I’ve never made homemade pesto. And I don’t really care for pesto on its own…it’s a little on the overpowering side for me. But blend it with some heavy cream and some white wine and some ricotta and some Parmigiano, and NOW we’re talking some good pasta sauce.  Also talking some significant artery-hardening and cholesterol-boosting. But we won’t go there. We will go to the recipe and let your cholesterol draw its own conclusions.

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 1-lb bag frozen tortellini

Saute the shallot in olive oil in a medium saucepan until soft; add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add white wine and cook over medium heat until reduced by half. Add cream and bring back to a fast simmer, allowing cream to reduce and thicken. Add pesto and stir to blend thoroughly. Add parmigiano and ricotta, and cook until well melted and as thick as you wish.

Boil tortellini according to package directions. Drain and pour enough sauce over to coat each one well. Toss pasta with sauce and serve.

I had mine with pricy, but surprisingly good, tomatos from the grocery; they billed themselves as “vine-ripened,” and had a four-inch piece of vine attached as testimony. Could’ve stood to be a little riper,but tasted pretty damn good for the Ides of March with some EVOO, cracked pepper and salt. And a glass of Francis Ford Coppola Rosso, my new favorite wine.

And I am big-time tired as I woke up at 3:30 this morning and never went back to sleep, so I believe I’ll bid you and y’mama ‘n  ’em good night and call it quits for the evening.

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One Response to “Two in a row”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    I’ve never made homemade pesto.

    What? There’s something culinary that I’ve done that you haven’t?

    Pardon me while I swoon.

    Fresh pesto’s pretty easy to make in a food processor, FWIW. I like it by itself as a pasta sauce; makes for a quick dinner on weeknights.


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