BURST TOMATO, MASCARPONE, AND HERB TORTELLINI



This recipe may be the one most often requested by my Mom. In fact, with her birthday coming up in April I'm declaring now that it's what will be on the menu that evening. We may top it with shrimp or grilled chicken, but either way, I'm glad we've got that settled. You know how much I love a good meal plan!

This dish looks beautiful enough to serve to guests, and yet simple enough for a weeknight meal. Don’t shy away from the cheese wondering if your kids will like it or not.  It’s incredibly mild. As for the tomatoes, tell your kids that bursting the tomatoes brings out all the sugar in them, making them even sweeter. I’m a firm believer in offering our kids the same meals we eat. I think you’ll be shocked by how well they adjust and like trying new things. This is a great dish to get them involved with too, whether it’s taking leaves off the stems of a basil plant or helping you throw tomatoes on a pan.  Much like you, they’ll appreciate how quickly this dish is complete and ready to be devoured!



I love using tortellini here as it’s a bit heartier and more of a sturdy pasta.  This would make a really lovely cold pasta salad too, however if you try it that way I’d recommend using a cheese like feta.  The mascarpone melting on top of the warm pasta and roasted tomatoes is really just going to have you wondering why you ever eat out when you’re such a star in the kitchen, so try this version first before you make it cold!

Make this now and then just wait to fall in love with it even more as all those fresh herbs start really popping up in your garden.  Don’t be shy about adding shrimp or chicken on top, and most definitely invite some friends over and make this to celebrate warmer weather ahead!

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 1 (20 ounce) package herb chicken tortellini
  • 3 pints assorted grape tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and using the juice from both
  • 1/2 cup each torn basil, oregano, and flat leaf parsley
  • 1 (8-oz) container of mascarpone cheese
1.  Fill a large pot with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring it to a boil.  Meanwhile, set your oven to broil with the rack about 4-5 inches from the top.  Stir together your tomatoes, garlic and olive oil and place on a jelly roll pan, seasoning well with salt and pepper.  Prepare your pasta according to the directions on the package then broil your tomatoes for 7 minutes.

2. While your pasta is cooking and the tomatoes are being broiled get your herbs together.  I love the combination of basil, oregano, and parsley here, washing the herbs under water, tearing the leaves off the stems, and roughly chopping the herbs.

3.  When the pasta is done cooking quickly strain it in a colander and then transfer to a serving dish.  Top the pasta with the tomatoes, garlic and their juices. Now it’s time for dolloping on the mascarpone, squeezing over the juice of two lemons, the zest of one lemon, and sprinkling over the herbs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir it up and enjoy!

anytime pot pie with cheddar biscuits


We're on the cusp of a new season which I truly love so much.  Apparently today in fact is the first day of Spring?! I'll take it.

I've self-diagnosed myself this year as having those winter blues big time and so the sunshine and warmer weather is very much welcomed!  I'm pretty sure I may make a sunny destination trip a "need" more than a "want" next winter!





This recipe is a bit like a changing season, or anytime season one for me.  Here's the thing about it; while it screams comfort food it's also one of those delicious one pot wonders which means you're going to get more time on your patio, working in your garden, or watching your kids ride bikes while it's in the oven.  

You can batch cook the filling and freeze it giving you a delicious dinner on nights when you’re otherwise tight on time.  If you don’t eat meat, it’s easy to opt for sweet potatoes in this dish making it a great vegetarian option as well! You’ll learn that I love to not only stock my freezer, but have meals like this that are nourishing for the whole family.  We don’t cook separate meals for our boys, so when a dinner like this hits the table I know they can’t argue with these cheesy biscuits atop loads of vegetables. Everyone is happy.



I’ve made this recipe a few different ways, and am going to share my version with chicken thighs for you here.  If you’d prefer to use store bought cooked rotisserie chicken, use about 4 cups. If you want to make this vegetarian, replace it with about 4 cups of diced and peeled sweet potato.  If you’re looking to make this ahead, make the filling and freeze it without the biscuits in a 9x13 dish, removing it the night before you’re wanting to eat it to allow enough time to thaw in your refrigerator.  While the oven is heating you’ll have time to make the biscuits!

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 ½ cup parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspon dried herbes de provence
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 ½ cups of chicken stock
  • 9 ounces of frozen peas


Biscuits:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat your oven to 400.   Melt the butter in a large dutch oven and season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Working in two batches cook it about 2-3 minutes per side then remove onto a plate. Add your vegetables to the empty pot, onion through parsnip, along with the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add mushrooms and cook, uncovered, about 5 more minutes.  
  2. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes.  Next, add stock and scrape up brown bits.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 3-5 minutes to let the sauce get thick, stirring often.  Stir in the chicken, peas, and more salt and pepper to taste. Pour the filling into a 9x13 casserole dish.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.  Add cheese and toss to coat. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, and then add the buttermilk, stirring just until dough forms. Drop the biscuits into 12 mounds on top of the filling. Bake until golden and bubbly about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy!