Tortellini Palermitana

Tortellini Palermitana

From A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Mary and Vincent Price

Serves 4 to 6

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use

1 clove garlic, minced

2 medium onions, chopped

4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (the original recipe calls for peeled tomatoes, but I don’t always peel them)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup beef stock

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

½ bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 mushrooms, minced

6 to 8 dozen frozen tortellini (The original recipe specifies two packages or 8 dozen, but you’ll want enough for everyone to have about a dozen each.  The recipe header describes tortellini as “tiny,” so 4 to 6 dozen of today’s larger tortellini may be enough.)

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add the garlic and onions and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions are transparent.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, flour, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.  Stir to mix well, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then stir in the mushrooms.

Cook the tortellini in boiling, salted water according to the package directions.  Drain them.  While the tortellini are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a shallow ovenproof baking dish.  Add the drained tortellini and cook over moderate heat, stirring to coat them with the butter, for 3 minutes.

Pour the tomato sauce over the tortellini.  Add 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and stir gently to mix.  Top with 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.  Serve very hot.

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