One of the favorites dishes in our household is also one of the most simple recipes we make. We start with a trip to “Italian Disneyland” otherwise known as Roma Italian Market, in Pasadena, which you can read about in detail on my other blog alilovesla.com
You stand in line and blissfully taste the cheeses and meats that Roz slices for you that day, gather your pink parcels in laden arms on the way to the register and finally stop in front of a small well lit freezer full of pastas, sauces and truffly amaretto desserts – plucking from the misting shelf a clear gallon bag filled with plump cheese filled pasta that is tied up with a twisty. On your way out the door you may grab a fresh fig or a handful of pastel Jordan almonds, or if you’re like me, you’ll be sipping coke from the glass bottle and looking forward to the fresh Italian sandwich wrapped in oil smeared paper that burns its way into your soul and sears itself forever into your salami scented memory.
But its the Tortellinis that you bought that are the focus of this missive.
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
― Sophia Loren
They are truly lovely and they cook up so tenderly in broth of any kind, kissing your tongue on the way down the hatch with their silk smooth slipperyness. They don’t get all weird and dough chewy like other frozen pastas I’ve had and for some reason, even though they are simply packaged in a not special bag, they hold up really well in the freezer.
Easy to make, delightful to eat and craved in all seasons, this recipe will become a staple for your family.
- 1 bag (16 oz) tortellini from Roma Italian Market (or from another good local purveyor of fine Italian foods)
- 2 quarts chicken broth recipe here
- 1 red pepper – roasted, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese and Italian parsley to garnish
You really can’t screw this one up.
Roast your red pepper, either on a burner or in the oven under a broiler – until the skin is black and peely. You can also do it in your woodstove if you have one like we did here
Slice pepper and shallot and throw with olive oil into a dutch oven (you can invest in a Le Creuset one give 5 out of 5 stars by 47 Amazon.com users, or get any basic one with 4.5 star rating from the same source at Amazon).
Add capers and allow to roast for 5 minutes. Then add broth, thyme, red pepper flakes. Stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add tortellini and cook for 8 minutes or so until they are al dente and floating on top of water. Pull one out and test it for tenderness, you don’t want them to be too mushy or too firm.
Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with fresh cheese and parsley and serve with a side of delicious homemade french or sourdough bread.