Tortellini Primavera Recipe
Tortellini Primavera

Late winter is finally giving way to spring, and I can't wait for the produce bins at the grocery store during midsummer that overflow with fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness. Right now, the produce section looks more like a compost pile than anything else. If I have to put one more anemic tomato in my grocery cart, I think I'll scream.

Because I can't stop eating fruits and vegetables just because it's winter, at this time of year I depend on the freezer case. Does that mean I'm giving up nutrition for the sake of convenience? Not really, especially when it comes to out-of-season produce.

The convenience of frozen vegetables cannot be denied. They can be the secret to an ultra-quick dinner: Most of them come already chopped, cutting down on prep time. And they taste great when they're all sauced up and cooked.

One of my favorite recipes for using frozen vegetables is Tortellini Primavera. This creamy tortellini and vegetable pasta is a real crowd-pleaser. To make it even quicker, use frozen chopped vegetables instead of fresh. Serve it with a green salad and whole-grain baguette.

Tortellini Primavera

Makes 5 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 cup shredded fontina cheese or 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, dill or chives, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 cups chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and snap peas, or one (16-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables

1 (16-ounce package) frozen cheese tortellini

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Meanwhile, whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese, tarragon (or dill or chives) and salt.

Add vegetables and tortellini to the boiling water; return the water to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and tortellini are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain; add to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.

Recipe Nutrition

Per serving: 429 calories; 15 g fat (8 g sat, 4 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 5 g fiber; 544 mg sodium; 321 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (135 percent daily value), calcium and vitamin C (30 percent dv).

3 1/2 carbohydrate servings

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 2 fat

Pasta, Pasta Vegetarian, Tortellini Primavera, Italian


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Tortellini Primavera

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