Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Tortellini in Basil Pesto

Prepared May, 2014. In a recent tasting study, America’s Test Kitchen decided that a shelf-stable product by the leading Italian pasta maker got highest marks. Marrying this product with a prepared pesto sauce yields a delicious meal quickly.
3 oz (85 g) Three-Cheese Tortellini (Barilla™ is recommended)
2 oz (56 g) basil pesto sauce (Kirkland™)
grated Parmesan cheese as desired
Bring a quart (liter) of salted water to a rapid boil in a sauce pan. Stir in the tortellini, lower the heat to a fast simmer, and cook uncovered 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a collander, letting the hot water fill a serving bowl to heat it. move the colander, dump the water carefully, add the pesto to warm briefly, and then the drained pasta. Toss gently, plate and top with cheese. Serves one, but scales up to 4 servings easily.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Steamed Littleneck Clams

Developed May, 2014.  The availability of fresh littlenecks from nearby Virginia waters inspired this recipe. "Littleneck" derives from the name of the estuary where they were farmed, not because these clams have 'little necks'. Clams have no necks. 
about 20 littleneck clams
1/2 c water
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c parsley, whole
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
Rinse the clams briefly under running cold water, checking for grit. Discard any open clams that don’t close when squeezed. Prepare the steaming liquid by heating all the ingredients except the clams to boiling in a 10-inch skillet. Cook at a slow boil until half the volume remains. Discard the parsley and add the clams. Raise the heat to boiling and cover. Steam over medium heat for 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Add the stock and clams to another dish, or serve in bowls as an appetizer, topped with a drizzle of olive oil with warm crusty bread to sop up the delicious stock.