Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tortellini: Breaded, Baked and Skewered

Barilla recently challenged Foodbuzz Featured Publishers to think of an Italian-inspired recipe using their tortellini for a chance to win a trip to Italy.

Being a “got to be in it to win it” kind of girl, I put my thinking toque on, got my tortellini, and am taking my chances with this outside-the-box pasta recipe:

Baked Tortellini Caprese Skewers with Lemon Tomato Dipping Sauce

I love tortellini; cold in salads for lunch or saucy and steaming for dinner, they are simple, satisfying, and delicious. But what inspired this dish was actually thinking of ways that I’ve never had tortellini before.

Breaded? Baked? Skewered? Check, check, and check.

My goal was to make a recipe that was unpredictable—one not exactly considered your average tortellini dish yet still inviting and easy enough for anyone to see themselves making for family and friends.

Using Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini, I boiled the pasta briefly until it was just soft. I then cooled and breaded each piece in flour, egg, and a mixture of seasoned breadcrumb and parmigiano cheese.

Around twenty minutes in the oven and you are done. Baking rather than frying allows the flavor of the tortellini to remain present and not get lost when cooked.

With this dish being all about Italy, I chose to incorporate the fresh flavors of a basic Caprese salad which also showcase the colors of the Italian flag. On the side, a lemon-infused marinara sauce for dipping provides a bright compliment to all of the elements on the skewer.

This is a great recipe to make when you are having guests over. Buon Appetito!

Baked Tortellini Caprese Skewers with Lemon Tomato Dipping Sauce:
* For the skewers, I have not given exact measurements; adjust to how many servings you plan to prepare.
- Long Bamboo skewers
- Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini, briefly boiled until just soft
- Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Fresh mozzarella (cubed or use whole small bocconcini)
- Fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Bread tortellini in flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumb. Lay the pieces out on a tray and bake for about 20 minutes in 400 degree oven until golden.
• Wrap each mozzarella cube or bocconcini ball with a strip of basil. Skewer two tomato halves, two tortellini, and two basil wrapped mozzarella balls. Serve with dipping sauce.

Lemon Tomato Dipping Sauce:
Yield: 1 ½- 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion, small dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomato
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
• In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil. Cook onions until soft; add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomato, lemon juice and zest, and chicken stock. Cook down for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with parsley.
• Transfer sauce to a food processor and lightly pulse until you get a thick/chunky consistency.


Koci said...

These are so cool!! I love the idea of portable tortellini. :D This looks like such a great addition to a summer menu.

Claudia said...

Inspired - I bread and bake ravioli - why not tortellini? Love the dipping sauce - you have me ready for spring.

Rosemary said...

Brilliant! There's something about food on a stick that's always intriguing and festive. If I were voting, you'd be on your way to Italy!

Karen said...

What a great idea...definitely outside the box! Breading them sounds great, and I love your twist on the classic Caprese salad. Good luck on the contest!

RavieNomNoms said...

What a fantastic idea! If I saw these at a dinner party or at a restaurant they would be the first thing I would grab. They look absolutely mouth watering!

Angie's Recipes said...

Those look so great! A fun way to eat tortellini.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Well i love how you think outside the box, this is so creative and looks delicious. Good luck!

5 Star Foodie said...

How fun! I love the idea of the breaded & baked tortellini on a skewer with caprese salad too, very neat!