Monday, July 28, 2008

Tortellini Salad

Well, I have to give LoPo credit for sharing this recipe with me and I have to give Rachael Ray credit for creating it, but it's so good I had to post it here. It does have a lot of ingredients, but is really a gorgeous addition to a BBQ or summer party.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Show: 30 Minute Meals
Episode: Now That's a Sandwich!

Coarse salt
1 package fresh mushroom or chicken prosciutto or spinach filled tortellini (recommended: Contadina or Buitoni brands) available on dairy aisle in most markets
1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can baby artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 red roasted pepper, drained and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons lemon juice, the juice of 1 wedge
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a couple of splashes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves, eyeball it
Black pepper
A handful sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped

Bring 5 or 6 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt boiling water and add pasta. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until pasta is just tender and the tortellini are floating like buoys. Drain tortellini, then cool the cooked pasta by spreading them out on a large plate or a cookie sheet in a single layer.
Coarsely chop baby spinach. Combine with artichoke pieces, roasted red pepper and red onion. Chop garlic, then add salt to it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, thyme and pepper. Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the salad. Dress salad and gently toss. Serve or refrigerate.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lobstah in San Francisco?

San Francisco is very far from Maine, but at the North Beach Lobster Shack, I almost felt like I was "down east". Surrounded by Italian restaurants and pizza joints on every side, The Lobster Shack is a surprising find. Not exactly cheap eats (it's lobster after all), but very casual and fun. Almost like you were at Beal's in Southwest Harbor.

Mo and I had clam chowder (very thick New England style with big chunks of clam) and lobster rolls (fresh lobster on a toasted roll). Not the best I've ever had, but pretty darn good for California. We'll definitely be back for a special ocassion for a steamed lobster dinner.