Really, this one is a slam dunk because it’s complete customizable. You hate the tortellini? Pick ravioli. Ravioli insulted your grandma? Use gnocchi. In a fight with tomatoes? Use zucchini. Find asparagus revolting? Use arugula. The world is your oyster.
For real, though, this is one of those magic olive-oil-and-garlic make all things wonderful. Bless those Italians, eh?
Tortellini with Tomatoes & Asparagus
1 two-person package stuffed tortellini, usually found in the refrigerated aisle at your grocery store
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarters depending on the robustness of your grocer’s tomato selection
1/2 to 1/3 package fresh asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces. (maybe a cup or so total?)
2ish cloves garlic, minced
1-2 shallots, minced
Get your pasta cooking, according to the package’s directions. Also, steam your asparagus. I like to squirt a little lemon juice on the pieces in a bowl and microwave them for about two minutes. You want them to have a bite, still. No soggy business here.
Throw a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet/pan and heat it up on medium heat. Now toss in your garlic and shallots and let ‘em cook slowly until they are soft, but don’t let them burn! Be vigilant! This is the hardest part of the whole dish, so don’t slack off. This should take maybe three or four minutes. You can stand there and stir your garlic for three or four minutes, I promise. Now toss in your tomato pieces and stir those around until the skins get all soft and the juices run, but they’re still a little firm. We don’t want our tomatoes to be unrecognizable. Then add your steamed asparagus and throw it around in the sauce you’ve just made (oh yeah, that’s a home-made sauce of your own creation), and season it all up with some kosher salt and fresh pepper.
Toss the cooked pasta in the whole mess and then serve it with a little fresh parmesan cheese grated on top. You may use the green can, but only if you absolutely must. Seriously guys, that block of parmesan in the specialty cheese case may have a scary price tag, but the stuff lasts approximately 6 years in the refrigerator. Invest in some. It pays such tasty dividends.
This serves two just-right portions. You can always add some more veggies and get the bigger package of pasta to expand. Couldn’t be easier! Enjoy.