Saturday, May 12, 2012

Waste Not

So, Architect had a few things in her refrigerator…mushrooms, tortellini and cream. Not being a wasteful sort, she wanted to use the ingredients she had on hand to prepare for our Wednesday night dinner so she typed those ingredients into for some recipe inspiration. This is the partial list of recipes yummly returned:
She chose Tortellini with Creamy Mushroom Sauce. But, before I share the recipe, I’d like to say just a few words about recipe-generation websites like How cool is it that the “what will I have for dinner” conundrum can be decided for us? Plus, when someone tells us how to be creative about preparing what we already have on hand, we are less likely to be wasteful.

The book American Wasteland says that “Americans squander between a quarter and a half of all the food produced in the United States. Even using the more conservative figure would mean that 160 billion pounds of food are squandered annually--more than enough, that is, to fill the Rose Bowl to the brim.”

Admit it; we are all somewhat guilty of waste. You probably have a potato or two growing spores or some fuzzy stuff germinating in a jar of applesauce right now. By adjusting habits – buy less and consciously use more of what we already have – you spend less and you enjoy more free time because you won’t have to food shop or clean the refrigerator as often.

Tortellini with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1 lb tortellini
¼ cup olive oil
1 ¼ cup of mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup of heavy cream (the original recipe called for more…you don’t need that much)
A good handful of arugula (the original called for parsley but the arugula added a peppery flavor)
Pinch of nutmeg
Parmesan cheese for topping

Cook pasta and keep warm. Heat the oil and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for one minute more. Stir in wine and cook for another 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add cream, nutmeg and arugula and give it a swirl. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tortellini on plates, spoon the sauce over and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

We also had a delicious salad with onions, radishes and peas served in the lovely traveling salad bowl and a fantastic bottle of red wine. I made individual Strawberry Shortcakes…stay tuned.
Architect has a new Luna!

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