10 Aug

Something very special is on the calendar this week…

No, not my psych test – although that is important.

I’m turning 21 on Thursday!

Before you start to think that I’m going to be too drunk to post after Thursday, let me assure you that is not the case in the slightest. I’m really not much of a drinker/party type person, anyway. Mostly I’m excited because I’m one of the last of my friends to turn 21 and once I do, I’ll be able to go out and have fun with them if the opportunity presents itself. I am very much a “have a glass of wine at dinner” type of girl rather than a “you’ll find me at the bars Thursday through Saturday” type, I promise. I’m excited to have my first “real bar” experience, but after that I’ll mostly just be using my newly issued horizontal ID to order some sauv blanc when I’m out to dinner once in awhile.

I have some fun stuff planned for my birthday, but more about that another time. I know the real reason you came to read this, so let’s get to it.

Tonight’s dinner was a huge success compared to my last dinner, and it didn’t even take as long, either. I grabbed it from that $5.99 vegetarian cookbook I picked up last week at Borders: Cheese Tortellini with Nutty Herb Sauce.

Okay, that might not sound like much and it might have had one star next to its name indicating that it was “perfect for beginners”, but believe me, it was probably in my top 3 of things I’ve made so far, the other two being the quiche and the pasta salad.

The recipe called for a pound of ricotta-filled fresh or dried tortellini or ravioli. Well, here’s the story on that. Yesterday my mom decided we were going to do our grocery shopping at a wonderful (no, really) organic market about 35 minutes away instead of the usual Giant Eagle. Since we go to this market even less than we go to the almost equally as far away Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I don’t quite know my way around the store. Yes, I could have asked, but it’s much more fun to explore on my own. It wasn’t until the end of our trip that I finally came across anything remotely close to what the recipe asked for, so I grabbed the last two.

Luckily, this turned out to be a great choice. I did a bit of research, and it seems like you can find this company’s products at a variety of natural and organic markets. The website lets you type in your zipcode to find a place near you that carries it.

The finished product didn’t turn out quite as pretty as it looked in the picture, with walnut shells and fresh thyme surrounding the bowl, but does it ever? I’m sure it was just as good – maybe better. Instead of the 2 ounces (about half a stick) of butter the recipe called for, we used maybe two pats and subbed olive oil for the rest.

Ugh, once again I apologize for the blurry quality my pictures have taken on. I had my friend who knows a lot about photography look at some of my recent pictures and the only suggestion he had was to zoom into the food more. I’m wondering if it’s my camera rather than my skills, though, because it hasn’t always been like this. Hrmph. Disappointing 😦

Anyway, I wasn’t the only one who loved this. I have this thing where I can’t take a bite of anything I eat before someone else has tried it and told me how it is. My sister was the first to try it this time, and she said she really liked it. She can be a pretty picky eater, so I took that as a sign that I should dig right in. My parents said it was great, too, so I’d say tonight’s dinner was a definite win in the I&H household. Here’s the recipe if you want to try!

Cheese Tortellini with Nutty Herb Sauce

  • 1 lb ricotta-filled fresh or dried tortellini or ravioli
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream
  1. Add the pasta to a large pot of rapidly boiling water and cook until just tender. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Chop walnuts into small pieces. While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a heavy-based pan over medium heat until foaming. Add walnuts and pine nuts and stir for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Beat the ricotta with the cream. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to combine. Top with a dollop of ricotta cream. Serve immediately.

On a completely unrelated note, I mentioned that I would be hanging stuff up on my walls this weekend. Unfortunately some of the things I wanted to hang have not been agreeing with the sticky tack that seems to work just fine for everything else, so until that’s all ready, I will leave you with this. Again, sorry for the blur!


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