Friday, January 29, 2010

Tortellini Primavera with Sun-Dried Tomato Ricotta Sauce

One thing I'm working on this year is keeping our grocery budget in check. Sometimes when you're a blogger and you find a recipe or dream up a recipe, you stop at nothing to make it. And you justify your expenses because it's for the blog. It doesn't matter that the cheese is $17.99/lb, or the prosciutto is $11.99/lb... and when you've made the switch to buying all organic meats and dairy, it gets even worse. So I've been trying to focus more on shopping sales and utilizing my freezer as well as make meals where some of the ingredients can be used for another.
So far, it's going ok. I try to get in 'empty the pantry' mode, but then I go shopping and it turns into 'stock the pantry cheaply' mode. I can't tell you how many bags of frozen cascadian farms vegetables and fruit I got last week. They were on sale.... and I had coupons... So I decided to make a meal that used a few of my fully stocked pantry items - tortellini, ricotta, and vegetables. Paired with some vegetables on sale and at the farmer's market, I came out very cheap on this dinner!

Tortellini Primavera with Sun-Dried Tomato Ricotta Sauce

1 package frozen tortellini
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 lb. asparagus spears, cut into 1" segments
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup ricotta
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
Vegetable or chicken stock, for thinning
1 sprig of fresh thyme or basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add 1 tbsp. EVOO, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper.
Saute' for 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
While veggies cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt heavily.
Add tortellini, cook according to package directions, during the last minute, drop in the asparagus and peas.
Drain and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse together ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice.
Add vegetables and pasta to the skillet.
Add ricotta sauce, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine, thin with stock if necessary.
Heat everything through, plate, garnish with crushed red pepper and parmesan, if desired.


Sophie @ yumventures said...

That looks delicious! I'm doing the same thing with trying to keep my grocery costs down. One trick I use is to look at a list of all the recipes I want to try, and try to find common ingredients between them (maybe rice, or a specific type of cheese)and I plan to make them in the same week. That way I won't have to buy a pack of blue cheese twice, but can split it over 2 days! And if I have leftover rice, I know I will be using it. Coupons are great too =)

Debbi Smith said...

This looks delicious! I'll have to try this some time, I LOVE ricotta!

Joanne said...

I totally know what you mean. My goal lately has been to stay under 50 every week and to try to only odd ingredients when they're on sale/in season. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

This pasta dish looks delicious! It may actually be my dream come true.

Meredith said...

That looks beautiful and so good!

Amedy said...

ricotta sauce !! very creative I'll have to try this