Tortellini with Fiddleheads and Mushrooms

I picked up these fiddleheads on a whim (I had just had them at my mom’s house — she breads them and fries in olive oil – SO good) and I wanted to try something different with them. Fiddleheads are only available for a short period during the springtime, so feel free to substitute with another veggie or delicious pork product, even. This is one of those dishes that you can kind of throw in whatever you want.

Tortellini with Fiddleheads and Mushrooms
serves 4-5

Here’s what I used:

  • 19 oz package of spinach/cheese tortellini
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fiddlehead ferns
  • 8 oz whole baby bellas, cleaned with a damp cloth and quartered
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (san marzano, if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • S&P
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp butter
  • parmesan, for garnish

Here’s what I did:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, blanch the fiddleheads for 4-5 minutes, and strain them out (reserving the water). Bring the remaining water back to a boil.
  2. While the fiddleheads are blanching, heat the butter and olive oil in a large saute pan. Once the butter has melted, saute the garlic over medium heat – about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the drained fiddleheads and saute for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Season with S&P and scoot off to the side of the pan.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and most of the canned liquid as well. Using a potato masher, carefully break up the tomatoes. Season again with S&P (and maybe a sprinkle of sugar, depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes. San Marzanos are naturally sweeter…).
  4. Sprinkle in the oregano and let simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until the sauce comes together.
  5. During these last 10 minutes, add tortellini to the boiling water and cook just shy of package directions.
  6. When they are puffy and tender and floating at the top of the water, drain them and add them to the sauce. Add the cream and the basil, saute it all together for a minute or two, garnish with parmesan, and eat it!
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