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Oh! I Love You So, Tortelloni-o’s

tortelloni

The perfect Valentine date: This year make a date with your family. Set up the table in red. Turn off your computer, phone and the TV. Put on aprons and turn up Frank Sinatra. Cook dinner together. Make sure you learn a little and hopefully you will laugh a lot. Turn down the lights, light up the candles.

Tell your kids the story about how grandpa met grandma and how you met each other. Read a poem, play a game, let this dinner sneak past bed time. These memories will last, we promise.

And for dinner, why not try this delicious tortelloni with quick pink sauce and fresh mozzarella hearts.

You need:

1 pound fresh tortelloni (or tortellini), in your favorite flavor
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
A few large basil leaves
4 cups pink tomato sauce (see recipe below)

Pink Tomato Sauce

You need

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen or San Marzanos are good)
A few fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ cup cream or half and half
½ cup Parmesan cheese

To make 8 cups:

You won’t need it all, but might as well make a little extra sauce while you are at it and use it for your next pasta night.

Heat up a large heavy-bottomed pot on high. Drizzle in the olive oil and when it starts to shimmer (almost right away) throw in the onions and garlic, and turn the heat down to medium.

When the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, stir in the tomatoes and basil, and heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, add the cream and Parmesan, then, and this is most important of all, kids can taste the sauce for seasonings, dip a corner of bread into the sauce, look thoughtful, and shout, “YUM!”

Tortellonis

To make 4 servings:

The kids can slice the mozzarella, and with heart shaped cookie cutters or a small knife cut the mozzarella into hearts large and small. With scissors do the same with the basil leaves. Save the scraps of both the cheese and basil.

Meanwhile in your big pasta pot boil the tortelloni according to package directions (in water almost as salty as the sea).

When the pasta is done, drain well and toss with the basil and mozzarella scrapes. Put the tortelloni on a large platter, top with as much tomato sauce as you think it needs.

Kids can decorate the pasta with the hearts and yell out, “Diiiiinner!”

 

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