Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nothing Homemade - Tortellini with Spinach & Mushroom

I found yet another pasta recipe on Pinterest.  The recipe uses bow tie pasta but the Boyfriend & I both thought that it was kind of plain & boring.  So to dress it up, I got a couple packages of ready to heat tortellini from Trader Joe's as a substitute.

So here is what I needed...
     1 package of Trader Giotto's Spinach Tortellini
     1 package of Trader Giotto's Cheese Tortellini
     4 gloves garlic, minced
     1 large shallot, medium diced
     1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
     1 package baby portobello, sliced
     1 big bunch spinach, stemmed & halved
     Salt & black pepper to taste
     1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

This was really quick...
     Boil a big pot of water & cook the tortellini according to the packages
     Over low heat, sauté the garlic, shallot, & red pepper flakes in oil until fragrant
     Increase to medium heat, add in mushroom slices & cook until they start to get tender
     Add in spinach leaves & just wilt them; season with salt & black pepper
     Drain the pasta & toss everything together

The whole dish was super simple and we liked using the tortellini because it added some more substance & made it more filling.

Quick & Easy - Linguine with Tomato, Spinach, & Lobster Tail

We have pasta about once a week nowadays and so I've been browsing for inspiration all over the place.  I found this recipe on Pinterest but it wouldn't quite work the way it was since the Boyfriend doesn't eat shrimp.  As luck would have it, lobster tails were on sale @ Safeway so I thought, why not?

My version has quite a list of ingredients...
     1/3 package of linguine
     8 oz lobster tail
     3 small tomatoes, seeded & diced
     3 cups baby spinach
     3 cloves garlic, minced
     1 small shallot, finely diced
     zest of 1 lemon
     1 tablespoon lemon juice
     1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
     1/4 teaspoon salt & black pepper
     1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
     Parmesan (optional)

Before doing anything else, prep the lobster tails...
     Remove the lobster tails from their shells
     Rinse the tails to get rid of any gunk that might be left over
     Rub the tails with salt & rinse them thoroughly
     Place tails into a bowl of ice water & keep in the fridge until ready to use

Now onto the actual dish...
     Start cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package (-1 min)
     Over low heat, sauté the shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, & lemon zest in oil
     Add in the tomatoes, season with salt & pepper, & continue to cook for 3 minutes
     Remove the lobster tails from the ice water & cut them into big chunks
     Add in the lobster meat & immediately reduce the heat to low
     Drain the pasta and add it to the pan of sauce; add in spinach and gently wilt them
     Remove from heat as soon as the lobster tails turn pink & toss in the lemon juice

And there it is!  I served the pasta with a bit of grated Parmesan on top for a little bit more salt.  Overall the dish was really light but had a lot of flavor & the lobster tail worked out really well.  I don't know if I will be making this dish this way all the time since the 2 tiny lobster tails cost $10 while on sale, but I can see myself making this again perhaps using crab meat, chicken, or just keeping it meatless.