Our first day of spring was kind of a dreary day, not that I'm complaining about the extra moisture we got. My dreary mood was probably more a function of a morning full of internet problems instead of the weather.
But our noontime meal was like spring on a plate. And, I must confess that I kind of needed spring on a plate about that time. Asparagus, spinach and spring seem to go hand-in-hand. I made Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Tortellini for our main dish, but smaller servings could certainly be a yummy Easter side dish.
It was colorful, tasty and fairly healthy. I served some fresh fruit on the side. But if you'd like a heartier accompaniment, toasted garlic cheese bread would mesh perfectly.
If you want to see step-by-step photos, check out Jamie Cooks It Up
, the blog from which I adapted this recipe.
Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Tortellini
2 pints grape tomatoes
1 pound fresh asparagus
5-6 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 9-oz. package cheese tortellini
1 cup chopped spinach
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cut about 1 inch of the bottoms off of each stalk of asparagus. Chop the rest of the asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Spread asparagus pieces and the tomatoes out evenly over a sheet cake pan. Peel and roughly chop 5 to 6 cloves of garlic. (Note: I used 1 tablespoon of jarred minced garlic instead of peeling and chopping fresh garlic, but you can add more to taste.) Add garlic to tomatoes and asparagus. Drizzle olive oil over the top. (The original recipe estimated using 2 to 3 tablespoons. I used less.)
Season with salt and pepper. Using two large spoons, toss the ingredients together, making sure all the veggies have a little oil on them. Roast vegetables at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until asparagus is fork tender.
When the veggies are about halfway done, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously and add tortellini. Cook until done but not overcooked, usually boiling it about 5 minutes.
Drain the tortellini in a colander, and run warm water over it. Drain well and put in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped spinach. Take roasted veggies out of oven and pour into the mixing bowl, making sure to scrape any of the juices into the bowl, too.
Season with additional salt and cracked pepper, if desired. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the bowl and add Parmesan cheese. Toss together and serve.
Note: The original recipe called for a 24-ounce package of tortellini. I used a 9-ounce package. We thought that provided a good amount to accompany the roasted vegetables. You can alter the amount to your own taste.