Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Hungry.........

Today was the first day this year that I started thinking about the dishes I like to make in summer.  You know, the lighter fare.  The kind of food that is summer fresh and light but packed with flavor and goodness.  Today I made a tortellini (cheese),  roasted artichoke hearts, purple onion and multi pepper salad.  This dish is easy to make and full of flavor.  I like to eat with flat bread but you can serve it as a side dish too.  I'd love to know what you think of this after you make it.  Bon Appetit.

Here's what you need:
1 1/2 cup artichoke hearts ( I use frozen)
1 1/2 cup cheese tortellini (I use frozen)
1 small red pepper sliced into thin strips
1 small yellow or orange pepper sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup parsley roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano  Reggiano cheese
1 small can sliced black olives (Optional)
1 package Pita Flat bread

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Spice Mix:
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano (1/2 tsp if you want flat bread)
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp fennel
1/8 dried red pepper
1/8 tsp dried garlic

Preheat  Oven to 425 degrees

Cook the tortellini according to directions.  Drain the tortellini when cooked and put in bowl  to cool. Shorten the artichoke cooking time (according to directions) slightly and drain.  Place artichoke hearts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle one pinch of spice mix.  Roast in oven for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.  Place in the bowl with the tortellini when cool.

Mix the dressing (see above) and whisk until blended.  Pour half over the tortellini and artichoke hearts and stir.  Sprinkle half of the spice mix  in and stir.

Add the peppers, onion and remaining spice mix and dressing.  Grind a few grinds of black pepper and salt. Stir until coated.  Add the parsley and olives (optional) and stir until blended.  Cover and refrigerate (this gets better the longer it marinates).

Meanwhile if you want to serve the flat bread, cut the round into 4 pieces and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with dried oregano and a few grinds of salt. Put in 425 degree oven for 8 minutes or until brown.

Sprinkle with cheese before serving. Enjoy!


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