I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

Super Squash

November 30, 2011

Not only is spaghetti squash super good for you, it’s super delicious!  I’ve always heard of baking this winter melon and using a fork to fluff out the spaghetti-like interior to use as a base for marinara, or anything you’d put on top of pasta, but quite frankly, I was a little bit skeptical.  Until last night.

I now have a new favorite winter staple!  It’s so easy to prepare, tastes delicious (think really al-dente pasta) and is loaded with nutrients.  The topping for the “spaghetti” really made it shine and I will definitely be experimenting with this versatile fruit again in the near future!

Mediterranean Style Spaghetti Squash

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  cup chopped tomatoes (I used two Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 red bell pepper, choppped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and red bell pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
  4. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and add feta and olives.
  5. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in two serving bowls. Top with the vegetable mixture. Serve warm.
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