#2 New Recipe of 2010 — Tortellini

Baby it’s cold outside!

No really, it’s not just Florida’s version of cold. It’s really cold! It’s been down in the 20s at night and my pipes were partially frozen the other morning. What the heck?! The apartment management instructed all the tenants to keep the kitchen faucet on a slow drip overnight to avoid further pipe freezing.  This should not happen in Florida, even north Florida.

When I got home from work today, I didn’t want to go back outside to go the gym, so I decided it was ok to take a day off. Instead, I focused on making the tortellini dish I planned earlier in the week.

The recipe actually comes from my friend Andrea, who is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, and who I miss like crazy. We went to grad school together and she came to visit me this summer before she shipped out. While she was here, we decided to stay in one night and cook (aka not blowing our money at a restaurant). She said she’d make this pasta dish that she’d told me about a few months ago if I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Sounded like a good deal to me.

It was so amazing,but I haven’t made it since she gave me the recipe. That had to change obviously. But I switched it up a bit and used tortellini instead of fettuccine. I also had  a problem finding fresh basil because it is out of season. 😦

Here’s the recipe per’s instruction.

Ingredients: 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, sauté onion and red pepper flakes in butter until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and salt; cook and stir over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from the heat; let stand for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Drain fettuccine and place in a large bowl. Add the basil, Parmesan cheese and tomato mixture; toss to coat.

So for my recipe, just switch in a package of tortellini.

Things not to do: Do not try to post multiple messages to your Twitter account while trying to cook. It distracts you and you forget to glance back at the recipe before adding ingredients. Thus, I started pouring in the milk before measuring out 1/3 cup. So, after I tossed the tomato mixture into the pasta, I had to actually drain the dish a bit because a bunch of the mixture was just sitting at the bottom of the pot.  Eek!

No worries, the dish still turned out pretty tasty, though I wish I could have had the fresh basil to add the extra kick.  So now, I’m content to just sit on the couch and not move for a while.

P.S. Don’t worry, that’s a small plate, not a full dinner plate. I wouldn’t be moving for a few days if I ate enough tortellini to fill a full dinner plate.


8 ounces uncooked fettuccine

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


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