Monday, June 11, 2012

Balsamic Tortellini Skewers

It is officially summer, by which I mean it is not yet officially summer. Damn Solstice. It is, however, hot, just a little muggy, and there are tourists everywhere. To me, that says summer. This is true if you are in North America. For some reason this blog has a good deal of traffic from Australia, so if you happen to be from Australia and reading this, just replace "summer" with "winter" and "muggy" with "Vegemite."

Since it is unofficially summer, I thought it would be a good idea to have a picnic, and needed some picnic type food. These certainly fit the bill. They are filling, tasty, and served cold, so they're particularly refreshing on those days you may develop swamp-ass. I should mention, the remedy is to eat them, not to apply them directly to the affected area. People will stare.

 This recipe is includes things I like, but feel free to substitute veggies, meats, and cheeses you like. This is a pretty versatile recipe, so go nuts. If you use something like onions, though, I would cook them first. You can choose not to, but you will be wrong.


1 package stuffed tortellini ($1.99)
1/2 pint (20) grape tomatoes ($1.69 for 1 pint)
4 oz. fresh mozzarella ($2.69 for  8 oz.)
2 oz. sliced pepperoni ($1.99 for 7 oz.)
drizzle light balsamic dressing ($1.29 for 16oz.)
sprinkle of Parmesan cheese ($2.29 for 8 oz.)

Not for eating: bamboo skewers (I don't know if Aldi actually sells these. I've had a package for years, and we never seem to run out.)

First cook the pasta according to directions. Then, pour the pasta into a colander and rinse the cooked pasta under cold water. gather everything else together. If you decide to use any ingredients that need to be cooked, cook them first, then let them cool before assembly. Cut the rest of the ingredients into bite sized pieces. I cut the tomatoes in 1/2 and just guestimated the cheese.

Now put a tortellini on a skewer and follow it up with the other ingredients in any order you like. I try to go in a certain order that has all the ingredients on the skewer before repeating any single ingredient. This is because I'm a tad OCD. If your mental health issue is something else, like untreated paranoid schizophrenia, you might want to try putting on the tortellini followed by a live penguin, but not anything blue (blue is trying to steal your life-force). The point is, put on what you like in the order you like. I try to get 3 tortellini to a skewer.

Once you have all your tortellini skewered-up, lay them on a platter or Tupperware tub. Pour over the dressing, not drowning the skewers, but getting dressing on all of them.

Pop the skewers in the fridge for a couple of hours. When you are ready to eat them, take them out of the fridge and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on them. Molto bene! Which I believe is Italian for, "I'm about to eat some skewers I just made, would you like to try them? They have tortellini, balsamic dressing, and cheese on them, so you might not want to have one if you are lactose intolerant." Such a strange and beautiful language. I'm surprised that phrase is as popular as it is. Seems oddly specific. Oh well.