Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tortellini with Parsnip Bolognese

I love tricky ways of making pasta healthy. Small things like sneakily changing out butter and cream for vegetables. I'm pretty sure that swapping parsnips for the roux in a traditional bolognese sauce cancels out of the cheese I sprinkle on top.

Right? You're all with me here. I know you are.

There's a delicious Parmesan butternut squash pasta that I make sometimes that's just like this. It's good even if you're not a squash fanatic. I'll share it with you sometime. It will make you happy. In the meantime, make this. It's delicious.

Tortellini with Parsnip Bolognese
Adapted from Bon App├ętit, March 2011

2 large parsnips
2½ cups milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4½ tbsp butter
1½ lbs baby portobello mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried rosemary
3 8-9oz packages of cheese tortellini
1½ cups freshly grated mozarella cheese

Peel and cut the parsnips into ½ inch rounds. In a medium saucepan, boil parsnips in salted water until very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Strain the parsnips and add to a food processor. Add 1½ cup milk and puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup of milk with the processor running. If the sauce is thin, return it to the saucepan and reduce for a few minutes. If it is too thick, add more milk. The sauce should be a little thicker than a typical Alfredo sauce. Add ¾ cup of Parmesan cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, clean mushrooms and slice thinly. Melt 2½ tbsp butter in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until mushrooms are brown and the liquid released by them has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

You can stop at this point if you want, cooling and refrigerating the sauce and the mushrooms for up to 1 day. Warm the sauce before continuing.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook tortellini according to package directions. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Drain the pasta and mix with remaining 2 tbsp butter. Add the mushrooms to the tortellini and spread into baking dish. Pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle with Mozarella cheese and remaining Parmesan. Base until sauce is bubbly, about 20 minutes. To brown the cheese on top, broil for 2 minutes, turning once. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a green salad.


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