Today I have two recipes to share with you because they go together so well: veggie tortellini pasta salad and tomato soup. They use only a few ingredients each so they're quick to make. Use the best quality ingredients you can find so the flavors shine. I used imported Italian tomatoes and tortellini for a taste that's "bellissimo"! Fresh Veggie and Tortellini Salad (serves 3)
1 (9 oz) package fresh rainbow 4-cheese tortellini or boxed Italian tortellini (such as Napoleon brand)
2 cups (1-inch) sliced fresh asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz) package baby spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Prepare tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus to water during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and asparagus; rinse with cold water.
While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add spinach, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
Combine pasta mixture and spinach mixture in a large bowl. Add lemon juice; toss gently to coat. Top servings evenly with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Tomato Basil Soup (serves 3)
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained (like Certo brand)
1 (14 oz) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp olive oil
Place tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Using kitchen shears, snip tomatoes until coarsely chopped. Stir in broth and sugar. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil and oil. Let soup stand 3 minutes before ladling soup into bowls.