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Fri, Apr. 28th, 2006, 10:54 am
speedygoop: Wednesday April 19th, I think.

This week's WNCC was minus the chelsea but plus the Derrik (sp?), Jess and Jasper. And me, duh. Anyhow we made some really good stuff and even dessert. We were also brought closer together by The Lord and that was lovely as well. Jasper brought strawberry cake and funfetti icing, but I had something else in mind. I got a little too into the Vegetarian Times magazine I was perusing while I was waiting for the guests to arrive and I picked out 2 recipies we could make from there.

Tortellini with Watercress, White Beans and Pine Nuts
Peppery watercress and creamy cannellini beans team up for a light and luscious one-dish meal. If watercress is unavailable, 8 cups of fresh arugula or spinach may be substituted.(We used arugula)

2 9-oz. pkg. fresh cheese tortellini (I think we used one 20oz. package)
2 Tbs. finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes plus 3 Tbs. of the oil
4 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, or more to taste
4 bunches watercress arugula, well rinsed and tough stems removed
1 cup vegetable broth or pasta water, or more as needed (we used chicken broth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (bought these, but forgot to use them, toasting nuts isn't our forte anyhow)
Grated regular or soy Parmesan cheese, as desired (soy cheese.........um ew)

Cook tortellini in large pot of lightly salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, if using instead of broth. Toss pasta with 1 Tbs. sun-dried tomato oil, and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in same pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper.

Add watercress arugula to pot with broth, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook until watercress is limp but still bright green, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans, and heat through for 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth or pasta water. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and cheese, and serve. Pass additional Parmesan at the table.

We found this a bit brothy, but really really good.

And for dessert..
Kiwi and Orange Compote with Almonds

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 whole cardamom pods, crushed
2 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large oranges, peeled and white pith removed, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
4 kiwis, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
2 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted (well we accidentally made the almonds into little charcoal pieces, but I'm sure it would have tasted nice with them)

I also added blackberries and raspberries.

Combine 3/4 cup water, sugar, cardamom, allspice and cinnamon in saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook until liquid is syrupy and slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Put orange and kiwi slices (and other fruit) in shallow bowl. Pour hot syrup over fruit. Let cool to room temperature, cover and chill at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours. Sprinkle with almonds(oops), and serve.

I actually just divided the fruit into rammekins, whipped up some cream with powdered sugar and spooned it on top of the fruit. So good.