Hugging the Coast: A Celebration of Coastal Food and Travel

Choose a Topic:



Tue
26
Apr '11

Three Cheese Tortellini With Spicy Red Fennel Sauce and Crab Recipe

Three Cheese Barilla Tortellini With Spicy Red Fennel Sauce and Crab Recipe by Doug DuCap

Doug DuCap's Original Recipes

Once upon a time, in the B.B. (Before Barilla) era, you could actually buy dried tortellini, but you probably didn’t buy them twice because they were just about as appetizing as eating a bowlful of pale, vaguely cheese-flavored erasers.

But, as with all dried pasta, Barilla was the game-changer. Their little blue bags of dried tortellini cook up eggy-golden, with an impossibly-delicate-yet-firm texture and a creamily distinctive cheese flavor.

How do they manage it? Who knows? Maybe it’s the combination of Ricotta, Emmentaler, and Grana Padano cheese. All I know is that I don’t feel the need to make homemade tortellini as often, because, well, because homemade takes about ten times as much effort for essentially equivalent results. It’s okay, though; I can live with feeling redundant…(*sniff, sniff*)…no, really, I’m fine…(*sob!*)

This Italian-inspired recipe was created especially for the Barilla and Foodbuzz contest (although it must be said that it doesn’t take much arm twisting to get me to eat tortellini, anyway.) The Spicy Red Fennel sauce is quick and easy to make (you can put it together in the time it takes to boil the pasta), yet the flavor is rich and deep. It’s a beautiful balance of fragrant garlic, fennel, and nutmeg, along with the bright notes of pepper sauce, lemon, and parsley.

The sauce, though zesty, is not fiery. Rather, the gentle piquancy accents the savory-sweet flavors of the three cheeses and the flaky crabmeat, and creates a dish that speaks of leisurely afternoons filled with warm Italian sunshine.

Here’s how to make the Three Cheese Tortellini With Spicy Red Fennel Sauce and Crab Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pkg (8 oz) Barilla brand Three Cheese Tortellini
2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to dress the pasta)
2 Tbsps minced garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsps lightly crushed fennel seeds (see Cook’s Notes)
2 Tbsps hot red pepper sauce (such as Crystal or Trappey’s)
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (see Cook’s Notes)
3/4 - 1 cup water
2 Tbsps minced parsley
1/2 cup Backfin or Special grade crabmeat (see Cook’s Notes)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

Bring 3-4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini; when the water returns to a boil, cook the tortellini for 10-11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain well and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Stir gently to coat.

While the tortellini are cooking, saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until just softened (about 1-2 minutes.) Add the tomato paste and crushed fennel seeds, stirring well to incorporate. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add a little additional water as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick.

Gently fold in the parsley and the crabmeat. Taste the sauce and add salt (if needed) and a pinch or two of black pepper. Top the tortellini with the sauce. (NOTE: You might be tempted to sprinkle this dish with grated cheese but it really doesn’t need it.)

Serve with steamed spinach or chard, or with a fresh garden salad.

Makes 2-3 servings

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can crush the seeds inside a small resealable bag using a rolling pin, a jar or can, or the flat side of a heavy knife.
  • If you’re using freshly grated nutmeg, start with less than 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.
  • You can also use the darker but more economical Claw Meat grade in this dish for a more pronounced crab flavor.

Enjoy!

You Can Read More of Doug’s Recipe Corner Here.

Hugging the Coast Blog Fast ForwardPlease join us soon to see our latest food and cooking article: The Hugging the Coast Daily Food and Cooking Blog Week in Review: April 25th to May 1st.

Hugging the Coast Blog Fast Forward

If you liked this article on HuggingtheCoast.Com, you might also enjoy:

(Photo Credit: Three Cheese Tortellini With Spicy Red Fennel Sauce and Crab from Doug DuCap Food and Travel on Flickr.


Bookmark and Share

Find Out More About the Knack Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Doug DuCap and Linda Beaulieu Enjoy Doug's Original Seafood Recipes on About.Com Fish and Seafood Cooking

Follow HuggingtheCoast on Twitter

Find Out More About the Knack Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Doug DuCap and Linda Beaulieu




Find Free Original RecipesRead Previous Posts Knack Fish and Seafood Cookbook

WordPress database error: [Incorrect file format 'wp_comments']
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '1110' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

Leave a Reply

About UsAuthor of the
Knack Fish and Seafood CookbookOriginal RecipesFoodie Movies & VideosOur Favorite LinksContact Us
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

BlogBurst.com Cooking Blog Directory My Zimbio http://www.wikio.com Subscribe with Bloglines