by Laurie David, Environmentalist and Author, The Family Dinner
Here’s a festive, love-inspired pasta dish that’s a perfect family meal for Valentine’s day or any day. Enjoy! Don’t miss the Raspberry Fool Parfait for dessert on page 2!
Oh, I Love You So! TorteloniOs
Tortelonni with quick pink sauce and fresh mozzarella hearts
1 pound fresh tortelonni, in your favorite flavor
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
A few large basil leaves
4 cups pink tomato sauce (see recipe below)
Slice the mozzarella and with heart-shaped cookie cutters or use a small knife to cut the mozzarella into hearts large and small. With scissors, do the same with the basil leaves.
Save the scraps of both the cheese and basil.
Meanwhile, in your big pasta pot, boil the tortelonni according to package directions (in water almost as salty as the sea). When the pasta is done, drain well and toss with the basil and mozzarella scrapes. Put the tortelonni on a large platter and top with as much tomato sauce as you think it needs.
Decorate the pasta with the hearts and yell out “… “diiiiinner!”
Makes 4 servings
Pink Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen or San Marzano are good)
A few fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 cup cream or half and half
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Heat up a large, heavy-bottomed pot on high and drizzle in the olive oil. When it starts to shimmer (almost right away), throw in the onions and garlic and turn the heat down to medium. When the onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant, stir in the tomatoes and basil and heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, add the cream and parmesan, then — and this is most important of all —
Kids can …
Taste the sauce for seasonings, dip a corner of bread into the sauce, look thoughtful, shout “YUM!”
Makes 8 cups
(You won’t need it all, but might as well make a little extra while you are at it and save it for your next pasta night)