Monday, May 28, 2012

Meatless Mondays: Summer Fun

And we're back to Monday...  How did that happen?  I hope all my readers have been enjoying the holiday weekend.  For me, it's just one more reminder that summer is nearly here.  (Yippee!)  I plan to savor this summer.  Partly to distract me from the heat that could be the bane of my existence.  And partly because this summer will likely be a very special summer.  

I'm between jobs right now, so I will be planning lots of activities and quality time with my big munchkin.  Baby munchkin is due to arrive in early August, so that will be huge.  In between I'm hoping to fit in a trip or two, lots of dinners on our back patio, many afternoons spent poolside, and maybe even a day or two at the beach.

To get it all started, I recently discovered what may become this year's favorite summer pasta.  It's another tortellini dish that can be served warm, room temperature, or cold as a pasta salad.  I took it to a cookout as a side dish yesterday, and I heard a few "yums" amid all the noshing.  Always a good sign!   

Notice that the ingredient list is decidedly low-fat, making this sauce yet another example of a sneakily-lowcal cream sauce.  Just remember to watch how long this dish sits out on the back patio, as it can spoil as quickly as any salad dressed with a cream-, buttermilk-, or mayo-based sauce.


Tortellini with Yogurt Chive Sauce
Serves 4-6
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 8 oz. frozen peas
  • 2/3 plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (either grated or shredded), divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for the pasta water and to taste
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
Cook the tortellini in a pot of well-salted boiling water according to the package directions.  Add the peas to the boiling water during the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time.  (Note that fresh tortellini may only need 3-4 minutes to boil, in which case you can add the tortellini and peas together from the start.)  Reserve 1/2 of the pasta cooking water before draining.

In the meantime, mix the yogurt, 1/4 cup Parmesan, Garlic, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Place the cooked pasta and peas in a large bowl.  Add the diced tomato and sauce.  Mix well.  Use some of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Serve warm, room-temperature, or chilled as a pasta salad.

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