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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sautéed Cheese Tortellini & Spinach with Toasted Almonds


Today’s recipe is inspired by a book I really didn’t care for.

Weird, huh?

So here’s how it all went down.  First, I saw Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla review the book and it caught my eye.  Then, my friend Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm also reviewed the book.  Both were pretty “meh” about the book, but it still piqued my interest.

So what did I think about it?

It. Was. Awful.

The author intended to be humorous throughout the text, but he only had one joke in his wheelhouse: insulting his mother’s cooking skills.  He was cruel and degrading throughout the memoir portion of the text.  The worst part was, he mentioned several times that his family was not particularly well-off, so his mother did the best she could with discount items (he was appalled at her use of cheap canned tomatoes and would have preferred the more expensive, imported tomatoes.  He also found he use of cheaper cuts of meat to be inferior and completely unacceptable).


Here’s my full review:
Not My Mother's KitchenNot My Mother's Kitchen by Rob Chirico
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book really rankled me.

It all start with the author's pompous writing style. I get the impression that he really thinks he's in a higher plane than the rest of us miserable peasants.

But even with that, I was willing to give it a try.

Then I realized that this book was supposed to be somewhat humorous. Only the way the author could think to be comedic was to insult and degrade his mother. It was sickening.

When he tired of insulting his mother, he'd sometimes move to other family members or ingredients or cooking methods that were beneath him, but he'd always come back to mom. That is the title of the book, right?

I was so put off that I gave up reading the narrative around page 40, and just skimmed through the recipes.

Even in the recipes the pompousness shows through along with the insults.

Some of the recipes do look quite good, it's just a shame they were lost in the rest of the pompous drivel.

View all my reviews

The recipes, however, looked divine (provided you skipped the snooty introductions to each section/recipe).

This recipe isn’t in the book per se, but it’s inspired by it and suited to my family’s tastes (and totally delicious), so at least something good came out of this reading!

Sautéed Cheese Tortellini & Spinach with Toasted Almonds

1 (38 oz) package cheese tortellini
Whole almonds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of crushed red pepper
5 oz fresh spinach
Salt & black pepper, to taste
Diced tomatoes, for garnish


Cook the tortellini to package instructions, drain when done.

While the tortellini cooks, place the almonds on a baking tray.  Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Note: You will only need about 3 tablespoons of almonds for this recipe, but it can be useful to roast more for other recipes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the well-drained tortellini and garlic, stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper, sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Add the spinach and season with salt & pepper.  Cook until the spinach is wilted.

Serve, garnishing with crushed roasted almonds and tomatoes.

Serves 4






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Sautéed Cheese Tortellini & Spinach with Toasted Almonds
Sautéed Cheese Tortellini & Spinach with Toasted Almonds
Ingredients
  • 38 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 3 tablespoons almonds
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 5 ounces fesh spinach
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
Instructions
Cook the tortellini to package instructions, drain when done. While the tortellini cooks, place the almonds on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Note: You will only need about 3 tablespoons of almonds for this recipe, but it can be useful to roast more for other recipes. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the well-drained tortellini and garlic, stir frequently for 1-2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper, sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and season with salt & pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Serve, garnishing with crushed roasted almonds and tomatoes.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

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