Pine-Nutty! (Garlic Green Beans and Cheese Tortellini with Pine Nuts)

30 Nov

A side note: I apologize for the lack of posts in the last week, a combination of me coming down with the seasonal cold (with congestion headaches that make any computer related activities very unattractive) and finals for the semester just around the corner (I’m in high gear to finish up those term papers and projects). 

Onto the recipes!  Not feeling 100% means a depressed appetite and not enough energy to stand in the kitchen for an extended period of time.  The following meal is quick and has simple flavors that won’t overwhelm the infirmed with nausea (that is, if they are still in a state to eat solid foods).

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Cheese Tortellini with Pine Nuts
(a variation of Cheese Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts from the November 2007 issue of Real Simple magazine)

9 oz package refrigerated cheese ravioli (such as Buitoni)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced (or use 1 tsp minced garlic)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper
shaved or grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook the tortellini according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking water.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and pine nuts.  Cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are golden around the edges, about 3-4 minutes. 

Stir in lemon juice, parsley, 2 tsbp of pasta cooking water, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add in drained tortellini and toss to coat the pasta with the garlic/pine nut mixture. 

Divide among two plates and top with shaved/grated fresh Parmesan.

Serves 2

Garlic Green Beans with Pine Nuts
(recipe based on the November 2007 issue of Real Simple magazine)

1/2 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced (or use 1 tsp minced garlic)
2 tbsp pine nuts
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add in green beans and cook until just tender, 3-5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add in garlic slices and pine nuts and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minute or until garlic slices start to brown around the edges and pine nuts are golden around the edges.  Drain the green beans and transfer to skillet with garlic and pine nuts.  Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. 

Serves 2

Shortcut: if you are preparing these two dishes for the same meal, as I have here, you can combine the garlic/pine nut toasting process of both dishes to save time (and pots/pans).  First boil the green beans, then toast 2 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup pine nuts by the directions above.  Remove 2/3 of the garlic/pine nut mixture to a plate while tossing the drained green beans with the remainder 1/3 garlic/pine nut mixture.  Remove from skillet and keep warm with a foil tent.  Boil the tortellini in the pot you just boiled the green beans and drain.  Return remainder 2/3 of garlic/pine put mixture to skillet, add in lemon juice and parsley as described above, add in tortellini and toss.  Top with some Parmesan and you’re done!

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