Saturday, March 3, 2012

Surprise: I'm Still Alive! And I Made Cheese Tortellini in an Alfredo Sauce!

Hello readers!

It's been a while since my last post, and big things have been happening. I moved out to Western Massachusetts, and very soon afterward I became the newest full-time gallery assistant at the Don Muller Gallery, in Northampton. Every day I get to support local and national artists, help people bring beautiful things into their lives, and have a lot of fun doing it. So while it's been a bit hard to find the time to blog, I've been busy with good things, and hopefully that counts for something!

With my new work schedule, I've become extra interested in satisfying dinners that I can throw together in just a few minutes. This Alfredo recipe, while not the healthiest thing on the planet, is a sauce that returns lots of creamy, hearty flavor for minimal time and effort. And after a long day, especially if you've barely stopped for lunch, tortellini really hits the spot. Seriously, I can't be the only person who at 8 AM thinks baby carrots, yogurt and a granola bar will be a good lunch. By 2 PM I'm usually cursing 8AM-Genevieve, and definitely looking for something filling come dinnertime.

I think that a traditional Alfredo involves all the creamy stuff I used and not a single veggie, but I added some frozen peas for color, and to slightly relieve the guilt factor. Very slightly. This recipe serves two, with some leftover sauce for lunch another day.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup heavy cream
1 9 oz package cheese tortellini
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere or Parmesan, or a combination (I used mostly Gruyere with about 1/4 cup of Parm)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas in last two minutes of cooking. Drain.
2. While your pasta is cooking, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt your butter. Add cream, simmer for a few minutes, then add garlic and cheese, whisking constantly until heated through.
3. Stir in parsley, if using, and pour over pasta and peas. Gently mix to combine, and serve immediately.
If I'd had a different sort of winter - one not full of master's theses and moving and job hunting - I like to think I might have a bag of home-made tortellini or ravioli in my freezer to use for something like this. But, things being what they are, I must admit that there are some pretty good packaged pasta options out there. So, haters gonna hate.

Quote of the Day: Fettucini alfredo is mac and cheese for adults. ~ Mitch Hedberg

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