Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ravioli and/or Tortellini in Broth

This looks fancy, tastes delicious, is super-easy to make, and is one of few things I've found that will impress kids and company alike. Get different fillings in the pasta, and avoid using all cheese filled because they will not have as much flavor. We love the Italian sausage, chicken with proscuitto, and spinach-filled ones. Whether I get ravioli or tortellini depends on what is available at my unreliable grocery store, or what's on sale. I serve it with *knotted rolls.

This recipe can also be increased as much as you want if you need to serve a lot of people by adding a regular-sized can of broth and another package of pasta for every 2-3 additional people. The basic recipe serves 4-6, depending on their appetites.

3 pkgs refrigerated ravioli or tortellini (like DiGiorno or Barilla)
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 box or large can chicken broth (low sodium or fat free works fine) or aprox 4 cups homemade broth
1 cup water
1 pkg sliced fresh mushrooms
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

In the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sautee the sliced mushrooms (you can chop them up smaller if you prefer) for 2 to 3 minutes or until they soften. Add minced garlic and sautee for about a minute (never brown garlic--it becomes bitter). Add broth all at once, along with tomatoes and their liquid and the water. Season with salt and pepper. When broth mixture comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions (usually about 7 minutes). That's it! You can add some fresh basil or something if you want, but if you've chosen your pasta well, it should be flavorful without heavy seasoning.

*Knotted rolls:

1 can refrigerated flaky layers biscuit dough (it's very important to get the flaky layers and not any other kind), like Hungry Jack

Heat oven to temperature on package. Take each individual biscuit and roll it between your hands like you're making a play-dough snake, until it's a little wider than your palms. Tie in a knot (it should be just long enough to tie with no long ends hanging out). Bake on a lightly greased or sprayed cookie sheet or stone until golden (it may take a little longer than the package says). Brush finished rolls with melted butter or garlic butter, sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Yummy!

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