Tortellini with Creamy Tomato Sauce (original recipe from Giada's Family Dinners)
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds tortellini or ravioli
3 cups marinara sauce (I used one jar of Classico spicy tomato sauce)
1.5 cups ricotta cheese (I used part skim, and next time I will use less ricotta, I tripled the original recipe but it was too cheesy for Tyler)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add about 1/4 cup olive oil to the water to help prevent pasta from sticking. Add the tortellini and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain the tortellini, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the tortellini with the remaining oil to coat.
Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking often. Whisk in the ricotta and enough reserved cooking water to thin the sauce to desired consistency. For a thicker sauce, use less pasta water; for a thinner sauce, add more water. Return the sauce to a simmer. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1/2 cup sauce on plate. Arrange the tortellini over the sauce. Drizzle another 1/2 cup sauce over the tortellini. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and the basil, and serve.
Garlicky Green Beans (experiment by Julia, and a tasty one at that!)
2-3 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed, washed thoroughly.
2 gloves minced garlic (I'm lazy so I put them through my garlic press instead of chopping them with a knife myself)
1-2 tablespoons butter.
Dash of salt and pepper
Saute green beans with butter and garlic in a large skillet until tender crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve hot.
Olive Oil Dipping Sauce (another Julia experiment)
On a small plate mix together some salt, pepper, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and thyme. Add extra-virgin olive oil and serve with your favorite bread!