Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini

Updated 8/1/2018 8:18 AM

1 -- 20-ounce package tortellini (cheese, chicken, sausage, spinach, etc.)

2 tablespoons butter


½ small onion, diced

1 garlic scape (or as desired), minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1¼ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

1 -- 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

10 leaves fresh kale and, or spinach

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 head of broccoli

¾ cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Red chili flakes, to taste

Cook tortellini according to package instructions, and drain.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.

Mince the garlic scapes and sauté until fragrant.

Add the flour and stir constantly for about one minute.

Slowly whisk in the milk and heavy cream until smooth. Continue to stir until the sauce begins to simmer.

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Add the tomatoes, kale, spinach, and basil, broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and the kale has wilted.

Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

Remove the sauce from the heat, and toss the cooked and drained tortellini into the sauce. Mix until evenly coated. Thin with reserved pasta sauce, if desired.

Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and chili flakes

Serves 5

Eggs in a Nest (recipe from college professor)

2 cups of brown rice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup dried tomatoes

2 large carrots: chopped

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

1 large bunch of Swiss chard

8 eggs

Cook rice with four cups water in a covered pot while other ingredients are being prepared.


Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.

Add and sauté carrots and tomatoes for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.

Mix with other vegetables and cover pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like the numbers on a clock.

Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yokes whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for three to five minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Original recipe makes serves 4

Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

¼ cup pine nuts

¾ cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes*

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon salt

A few generous grinds of black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

*Or use half scapes and half herbs such as basil, or dill

In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you've defrosted it.

Pour over pasta, or vegetable of choice. We prefer pairing the pesto with zucchini noodles or "Zoodles."

Serves 6 to 8 (makes about 1½ cups of pesto)

Toffee Squares

1 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chocolate chips or crushed Heath Bits

½ cup chopped nuts

14 ounces condensed milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg yolk. Stir in flour and salt. Press in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

Boil Condensed milk till thick. Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until very light brown (crust will be soft). After 15 minutes of baking, pour and spread thick condensed milk over bars. After 25 minutes, immediately sprinkle chocolate chip/Heath bits on hot crust. Let stand about 5 minutes or until chocolate is soft; spread evenly. Sprinkle with nuts.

Cool bars 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

Ice Cream Cake Roll

For the cake roll:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 quart ice cream, any flavor


1/3 cup butter

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate

½ tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

(Additional baking cocoa, if desired)

Heat oven to 375 and line 15x10x1 in pan with foil or waxed paper; grease with butter. In medium bowl, mix flour, ¼ cup cocoa, the baking powder and salt; set aside.

Beat eggs in small bowl for about 5 minutes or until very thick and lemon colored. Pour eggs into large bowl; gradually beat in granulated sugar on low speed. Beat in water and vanilla gradually mix in flour mixture, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour in pan, spreading batter to corners.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen cake from edges of pan; turn upside down onto towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully remove foil; trim off stiff edges of cake if necessary. While hot, roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Unroll cake, leaving end of cake rolled up; remove towel. Quickly spread ice cream over cake, pushing ice cream up to rolled-up end of cake roll up and place seam side down on piece of foil.

Beat butter, powdered sugar, baking chocolate and ½ teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl on a low speed until blended. Gradually beat in milk until light and fluffy. Frost cake roll with frosting. Sprinkle with additional cocoa. Store covered in freezer.

Lemon Knots

For the dough:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 eggs beaten lightly

1 cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1½ teaspoon lemon extract

For the icing:

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Sift dry ingredients into large bowl. Blend in beaten eggs and remaining ingredients. Knead dough until soft and smooth. Break off pieces of dough the size of a tablespoon. Roll each piece with hands on floured board into ropes about 4 inches long. Tie each dough rope into knot and bake on greased cookie sheet in 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

For the icing:

Blend all ingredients well to form a runny icing.

Cool, ice and decorate.

Italian Sausage Mac 'N' Cheese

1 pound Italian sausage

½ pound macaroni

½ cup butter

½ cup sifted all-purpose flour

2½ cups warm milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups or more cheese

Pan fry sausage and let cool a few minutes. Cut sausage into ½ inch slices crosswise. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender.

In separate saucepan melt the butter, blend in flour and milk gradually, stirring constantly.

Add 1½ cup of the cheese holding aside other ½ cup. Add salt and blend well.

Cook until cheese has melted.

Combine 2/3 of sauce with well-drained cooked macaroni in a large bowl or sauce pan. Pour and spread ½ macaroni in a well-buttered casserole dish.

Place cooked sausage over macaroni. Then cover the sausage with the rest of the macaroni. Sprinkle top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425 or until top is brown.

Au Gratin Potatoes

4 pounds potatoes (about 8)

4 cups heavy cream

3 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon pepper

2 cups American cheese (or Gruyere)

bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice potatoes. Arrange potato slices, edges overlapping on the bottom of a buttered 13x9 casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper and bread crumbs over potatoes. Repeat layering.

Scald heavy cream and pour over potatoes.

Cover top with American or Gruyere Cheese.

Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked.

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