Baked Cheese Tortellini with Bacon Vegetables & A Rosemary Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce has many faces.

You can go the simple route, and make it with only three ingredients: butter, cream and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Or you can do it like Jamie Oliver did for Goldie Hawn and add egg, nutmeg, and truffle oil.

You can also go the Olive Garden route, in which case you’ll need butter, garlic, flour, milk, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and Romano cheese.

None of the variations will let you down. Alfredo sauce is just that good, especially when served with pasta.


It Also Is Deliciously Yummy With

Bacon Vegetable Alfredo Gnocchi


This pasta recipe features an Alfred Sauce prepared with butter, heavy cream, rosemary, parmesan and Asiago cheeses.

After the sauce is made, it is added to a Cheese Tortellini pasta, bacon, peas and carrots. Then baked under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.

Baked Cheese Tortellini with Bacon Vegetables & A Rosemary Alfredo Sauce

12-16 ounce package of Tortellini – your choice

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

½ cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated

1 cup heavy cream

6-8 slices of smoked bacon, cut into 1- inch pieces

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

Alfredo Sauce

Place a small pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Next add rosemary and mix with butter.

Next add cheeses and mix with butter until cheeses have melted.

Next add cream a little at a time while stirring until sauce thickens. Set aside.

Cooking Smoked Bacon

Place a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add prepared bacon and cook just before becoming crisp. Remove cooked bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb fat. Set aside.

Preparing Tortellini and Vegetables

While cooking bacon, prepare Tortellini according to package instructions. Once cooked (usually about 4 minutes) remove Tortellini from water (do not discard water) with a spider spoon and place into a large bowl and set aside.

Place frozen peas and carrots into hot pasta water, 3-4 minutes, just to thaw and warm up. Remove vegetables from water with a spider spoon and add to pasta.

Bringing It All Together

Add cooked bacon to pasta and vegetables. Pour Alfredo sauce over pasta, bacon and vegetables. Mix until everything is coated well with sauce.

Turn oven broiler on. Add pasta mixture to a large oven proof skillet. Set aside while broil heats up.

When broiler is hot enough, place skillet with pasta mixture under broiler for 3-4 minutes.

Be carful not to burn pasta. Leave under broiler just until you notice that sauce starts to quiver a little.

Remove from under broiler. Plate and serve.

Here are some more pasta recipes that You are sure to enjoy. And they’re gluten-free.


More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

Cannellini White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

Autumn has arrived the air has chilled and once again soup season is here.

The late Laurie Collin who wrote for the food column in Gourmet magazine, said, “to feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.”

What’s In A White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

To start, this is a soup that is filling, low calorie, and nutrient-dense.

This soup has texture, that includes leafy vegetables, beans, and lean protein.

Not only is it fun to throw it all in the pot, but a diverse soup like this one can help promote satiety and keep you fuller longer.

The Flavor of Swiss Chard

Chard’s flavor is comparable to spinach, although this depends on what cooking technique is used.

Swiss chard can be bitter. Cooking tends to diminish the bitterness so that its earthy, sweet, almost beetlike flavor is more pronounced.

Swiss Chard is used in a variety of dishes and is just as versatile as spinach.

It’s used in salads, stir-fries, soups, casseroles, and dumpling recipes.

White Beans

White beans range in size and flavor with cannellini beans being the most popular to cook with.

The Cannellini bean is the largest of the white bean group and because of their traditional kidney shape, they can also be referred to as White Kidney Bean.

They are meatier than Navy or Great Northern beans, and they have a nutty, earthy flavor with tender flesh.

Because of their texture and retaining their shape after being cooked, makes them a perfect choice to use in salads, soups, stews, and chili.


Another White Bean Soup: Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup


Nutritionally speaking, white beans are packed with fiber and protein and a good source of numerous micronutrients, including folate, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B-6.

Cannellini White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

This soup can also be made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free pasta or orzo.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)

13 ounce cooked diced chicken sausage, (cut into half-moons) or sausage of your choice

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 Tbsp.)

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary *see note below

¾ teaspoon Himalayan salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

4 cups chicken broth

1 dried bay leaf

1/2 cup Ditalini Pasta, uncooked

3 cups packed roughly chopped Swiss chard, stems and ribs removed *see note below

Parmesan cheese, for garnishing


Recipe Notes

* You may substitute fresh Rosemary for either thyme, tarragon or savory.

* Save Chard stems to use as part of a omelet filling – Like this one: Red Swiss Chard & Asparagus Omelette


Heat oil in a Large pot over medium-high. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, and bay leaf.

Bring mixture to a boil over high. Reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Stir in chard. Cook, stirring often, until wilted and slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan.

How To Spice Things Up When Cooking

Large collection of metal bowls full of herbs and spices -How To Spice Things Up When CookingHerbs and spices are used to enhance the flavor of food, either it be for cooking Spaghetti Carbonara or baking an apple pie.

An herb or spice can be a seed, fruit, root, bark, berry, bud or leafy part of the plant. They are principally used for flavoring food among other uses. They can be used fresh or dried.

Herbs And Spices Through The Ages

It is said that by the Middle Ages, the most common spices and herbs being traded and used were black pepper, cinnamon (including the alternative cassia), cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Herbs and spices are useful for many things, among others are medicinal uses, cosmetic or perfume production uses, and of course they are used add flavor to a meal.

By 1000 B.C. medical systems based upon herbs were found in China, Korea, and India. Also the Egyptians used herbs and spices for their embalming practices and their demand for exotic herbs and spices helped stimulate world trade.

Extracting A Spices Flavor

The flavor of an herb or spice is derived by exposing the volatile oil compounds of the seed or leafy part, that oxidize or evaporate when it comes in contact with air.

As an example, fresh ginger is usually more flavorful than its dried form, but fresh spices are more expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.

Flavor of herbs and spices can be maximized by storing them whole and grinding when needed, as grinding greatly increases its surface area and so increases the rates of oxidation and evaporation.

If you decide to use dried spices, be sure to use them within 6 to 8 months of purchase. Ground spices are better stored away from light, as it also increases the oxidation of the volatile oils.

metal bowls filled with spices

How To Use Herbs And Spices

When using herbs and spices you’ll want to pick flavors that complement each other, such as the spice mix known as “pumpkin pie spice.”

The ratios of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg add great flavor to the pie, and each spice doesn’t over power the other.

The key or rule of thumb to spicing things up is that less is more. Avoid adding too much all at once. Instead, add a little at a time and add more to taste.

A good example of over spicing and unable to fix it, is when you use oregano or cloves. Their volital oils are great for flavoring culinary and pastry dishes, but they are strong in flavor, and only require a small amount.

When using spices to flavor your meat or vegetables, use only 3 different types at a time.

You can even use herbs and spice to replace salt. Choose your spice or spices, add a little lemon juice and unsalted butter.

Which spices pair well together for the best culinary dishes you can make?

Let’s examine some of the most commonly used spices and which spices pair well with them.

Cooling Down with a Mojito Beverage

Cooling Down with a Mojito Beverage

Mojito is a traditional alcoholic beverage of Cuba, the Highball. The drink consists of white rum, sugar cane juice, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint, or as it is called in Spanish, yerba buena. Actually the drink gets its name from the type of mint used, which is mojito.

Mojito (the herb) is a native plant to Cuba, and was previously unavailable in North America but thanks to Toronto mojito enthusiast Catherine Nasmith who visited Cuba in 2006, we now have the authentic plant from Cuba. It is not only used in beverages, but mojito mint also makes a great seasoning for meats and confections (Helping Gardeners Grow).

Mojito has a clearly distinctive flavor from most other mints. The scent and flavor are mild and warm, not pungent nor overly sweet like other mints.

Recent medical studies have reported that the smell of  mint has been proven to stimulate brain activity and could be useful before taking a test of any type, such as in school or collage. Other herbs, such as rosemary, and sage have been reported to do the same.

Summer Drinks - using MojitoWhen making a Highball, you can use any fruit you wish, just so long as you use the mint, mojito. Unless your not a person of tradition, and that’s OK.

Here are links to some recipes here at Splendid Recipes and More where mint was used. Not specifically mojito, but it can be substituted in place of the common fresh variety you can purchase at your local market.

1. Melon Berry Fruit Salad with Mint-Lime Dressing

2. Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

3. Orange, Fennel and Mint Salad

If you are not into drinking alcholic beverages, then you may be interested in cooling down with another type of mojito beverage: Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade.

Today is the annaversary, so to speak, of Splendid Recipes and More, posting the recipe for the lemonade beverage. It was first posted July. 15, 2014, and to-date has had 4,383 hits. Most of the hits have come during the summer months, either in the northern (June-September) or the southern (December-March) hemisphere.

Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade -over-head-Here is the link to the original post (click here) and following is a picture and the recipe. You’ll note there is no mojito, but is mixed in with the tea. The tea use was purchased at Tevana, and is available only during the summer months.

12 teaspoons Blackberry Mojito Green Tea

1 cup lemon juice, from 5 lemons

1/2 cup sugar (optional to use Teavana‘s rock sugar)

6 cups fresh water, boiled

Bring fresh water to a boil in a large sauce pot. The boil point should reach 175 degrees. Turn off heat and add the tea mixture, and steep for 10 minutes.

Strain off tea mixture and add tea to a glass serving container. Stir in sugar, and add lemon juice and stir some more.

Enjoy Cooling Down with a Mojito Beverage.

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Lemongrass Basil Thai Chicken

Lemon Grass Basil Thai Chicken

Have you had lemongrass before? When mixed with other ingredients it can be really tasty.

Lemongrass is associated with Asian cooking especially in Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine.

Lemongrass is also classified as an herb and is reported to have many health benefits.

The herb has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is very potent in helping to detoxify internal organs, such as the liver, exocrine gland, excretory organs, and the digestive tract.

It also helps to lower the buildup of uric acid (herb can bring relief for those who suffer with Gout), cholesterol, superfluous fats and other toxins in the body while helping with digestion, and improving blood circulation.

It also has been report for use as calming effect in relieving insomnia and stress.

Lemongrass Basil Thai Chicken

4 chicken breast, chopped 1-inch squares

16 oz. bag Mediterranean vegetable blend

¾ cup Desiccated Coconut

1 green chili, serrano, without seeds

2 garlic cloves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

½ tsp. Himalayan salt

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. dried basil or 5 fresh Thai basil leaves

½ tube of Garden gourmet Lemon Grass or 3 fresh chopped stalks lemon grass, white parts only

1 tsp. arrowroot starch

close-up of Lemon Grass Basil Thai ChickenIf you can’t find fresh Thai basil, the common sweet basil will work.

Lemongrass can be hard to find fresh, so the tube of Garden Gourmet Lemon Grass will work just as well.

In a food processor, add coconut, chili, garlic, oil, salt, juice, basil, lemongrass, and process until a paste is formed, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or avocado oil and heat.

Add chopped chicken breast and cook until outside of meat is white or oblique. Add vegetable blend and stir in.

Next add lemongrass mixture and stir in. Add 1 tsp. arrowroot starch to ¼ cup of cold water and mix till arrowroot is dissolved, add to meat mixture, mixing in till well incorporated.

Side of Wild Rice with Rosemary, Parsley and ThymeContinue to stir ingredients till mixture starts to boil and thicken some.

Turn heat down to simmer for 10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.

You can serve over cooked rice.

We served our Lemongrass Basil Thai Chicken with a side of Wild Rice with Rosemary, Parsley and Thyme.

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Rosemary and Thyme Oven-Roasted Chicken

Our last article on cast iron cookware – 4 Commonly Asked Questions About Cast Iron Cookware – ended with stating..”Come back later  and we will show you how to oven roast a whole chicken using a 10.25 inch cast iron skillet“. Will you came back and here’s the recipe.

Rosemary and Thyme Oven-Roasted Chicken and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Rosemary and Thyme Oven-Roasted Chicken

Most cooks and those that prepare oven roasted chicken will use lemon, but I have chosen to use an orange.

1 whole roasting chicken, approximately 4-5 pounds

1 large yellow onion or 2 medium, cut into uniformly thick slices

1 whole orange, cut into quarters

8-10 cloves garlic, crushed and skins removed

4 tablespoons butter, cut into slices

2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves removed and chopped, plus 3 whole sprigs

3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed, plus 3 whole sprigs

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt

You can opt to make some vegetables of your chose, while roasting the chicken. We will prepare some potatoes with our chicken.

1 batch Oven-Roasted Red Potatoes* (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425˚ degrees.

Remove giblets from chicken cavity and discard. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

preparing to roast  potatoes

If you are preparing the potatoes, do so according to the recipe instructions in a 12” pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. As a suggestion the recipe can be for Oven-Roasted Red Potatoes. 

Once potatoes have been browned on the stove top, push them to the outer edge of the pan and placed sliced onions in the center. Otherwise, omit the potatoes and just place sliced onion on bottom of skillet.

place cleaned chicken over potatoes

Set chicken on top of onions and fill cavity with sliced oranges, garlic cloves and whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme. For a nicer appearance, tie legs together with kitchen twine.

ingredients for herbed butter

Add chopped rosemary and thyme leaves to a flat plate and press butter slices into the herb mixture. Repeat on the other side.  Use a knife to separate the skin from the breast meat and slide the herb butter slices in between.

Drizzle over top of chicken breast with some olive oil. Use fingers or pastry brush to coat the exposed surface, and season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.

roasting chicken in cast iron skillet in the oven

Place skillet in oven and roast for approximately 1 hour or until juices run clear when you cut into the area near the base of the thigh. Actual cooking time will vary depending on how large the bird is and individual oven settings.

Remove skillet from oven, and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Rosemary and Thyme Oven-Roasted Chicken

When ready to serve carve chicken meat from carcass, plate and serve with potatoes and leafy greens. The meat should be very succulent and juicy with hints of citrus flavor. Enjoy!!

What Others are Saying About Roasted Chicken:

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