If the aroma of this pasta "sauce" doesn't attract takers, something must be wrong with their sense of smell. Another virtue of the dish: With the exception of toasting pine nuts, it's a one-pot experience.
Serve with warm foccacia.
- 2 9-ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini (in the refrigerated case)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, with 3 tablespoons of their oil
- 4 medium shallots
- 4 medium cloves garlic
- 4 bunches watercress or 8 cups arugula
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortelllini and cook according to package directions. Drain in a large colander and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes; toss to coat.
Meanwhile, mince the shallots and garlic; there should be about 1/2 cup total. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving any excess oil. Rinse and dry the watercress or arugula, discarding any tough stems. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to make sure they do not burn. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans.
In the pot that was used to cook the tortellini, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, then the watercress or arugula, vegetable broth, sun-dried tomatoes to taste and any of their collected oil; season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the greens have wilted. Add the drained beans and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine and heat through. The liquid should be bubbling slightly.
Add the tortellini and stir gently to combine. Remove from the heat and add the toasted pine nuts. Divide among individual wide, shallow bowls. Sprinkle with the cheese, if using. Serve hot.
Adapted from "Vegetarian Times Fast and Easy: Great Food You Can Make in Minutes," from the editors of Vegetarian Times (Wiley, 2008).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.