There are only a few things that my kids can agree upon when it comes to dinner. As a rule, Zoe rejects anything with carbs (she won’t eat anything pasta or rice based) and Sabrina will eat ONLY carbs. Or Beef. So, dinners can get a little crazy – especially since I insist on making only one meal and have a “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude.
Don’t like what I made for dinner … have an apple or go to bed hungry. I’m not making you something else you little ungrateful…
Anyway, one thing both kids can agree upon is cheese tortellini. I admit, it’s not the most grown-up meal ever. But there are times when I just want a happy and easy family dinner. And when those nights are upon me, I make a tortellini dinner.
But I do dress it up.
Sure, I save some plain tortellini for Sabrina to eat. If there is anything on it, she may or may not throw a fit, and since these are nights when I need some peace and quite, I don’t mind pulling some out for her before I toss the rest of the little pasta nuggets with my Grown-Up sauce.
And, even the “grown-up” sauce isn’t all that grown up. It’s really just a bunch of left overs tossed together with some garlic, shallot and olive oil to create a delicious sauce that wraps those little cheese tortellini and elevates them from kid-food to grown-up food.
In this picture, I used left over chicken, broccoli, tomatoes and peas. But really any combination of protein and veggies will work. The key is in good quality olive oil, soft shallots, slices of garlic and a dash of crushed red peppers. Cheese tortellini - as delicious as it is – tends to be on the bland side, after all.
Do you have a go-to dish that is easy to throw together and satisfies your whole family? I’d love to hear about it.
- 1 large package cheese tortellini
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
- 1/4 cup cooked broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
- crushed red pepper to taste
- olive oil
- salt / pepper to taste
- Cook tortellini according to directions. Cut cooking time by 1 minute for al dente.
- In a large skillet, warm about 1/4 cup of olive oil over low heat and add crushed red pepper and garlic. Warm garlic through, being care not to let the garlic brown! Warm for about 5 minutes.
- Add shallots and turn up the flame to medium heat to soften the shallots.
- Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and release all of their juice. Feel free to mash them up a bit.
- Add the rest of the veggies and cooked chicken. Toss all together, adding more olive oil if necessary.
- When tortellini is cooked, drain and add to the sauce pan. Toss together and serve immediately with a bit of Parmesean cheese on the side.