Updated: Jun 23
An early allude to Great Food is a Must is necessary. Cooking has always been a love of mine. My husband and I explore by eating our way through new places. In 2016, for Christmas we decided to spend the holiday in Zurich, Switzerland. You can check out a few of our pics.
Europeans take long vacations during the holiday season, so finding open restaurants during the Christmas season was a task and a half! Thankfully, despite the struggle, on the same block as our hotel was a quaint, family-owned, Italian restaurant. We lucked out and grabbed a table for dinner, in between reservations, just one day before the family was also going on holiday. Italian restaurants are extremely popular here in Germany.
So, we have had our fair share of pasta dishes. However, it was on this quiet Christmas Eve that my husband, Victor, had what turned out to be his favorite pasta dish. It was a simple, cheese tortellini with a tomato cream sauce. He couldn't stop talking about this dish and I know for sure we would have gone back if they had not been closed for the remainder of our trip.
With me being the type of cook I am and such a great wife (hahaha), before we even left the restaurant I had already decided that I would try to recreate this dish in my own kitchen. I wanted to go all out and make the sauce from scratch and I felt this dish would be even better topped with a well-seasoned chicken breast. It was on New Years Day that I surprised Vic for dinner. After posting a pic of the finished meal on social media, I had several people ask for the recipe. So I have decided to share it with you all. Check out the recipe below!
Before you scroll down and get to work, you must remember one very important thing about my style of cooking. Those that remember Great Food is a Must, know that I do not typically measure ingredients. When it comes to seasoning, I simply add ingredients until it feels right to me. Do not let this discourage you as you try out my recipes. Instead start with maybe ¼ - ½ teaspoon (unless instructed otherwise), taste, then add more if needed.
My favorite seasoning method involves shaking a layer of seasoning across the entire pan, pot, and/or piece of meat (maybe I will show a video of me doing this in the future). Even if I give a specific measurement (which is likely an after-the-fact estimate), always taste the dish and add more if you feel so inclined. After all, recipes are really meant to be an inspiration. Use your imagination and taste buds to build your own dish. I hope you enjoy this one!
Cheese Tortelini with Chicken and Tomato Cream Sauce
Serving size: 3-4
For the sauce:
1 or 2 Shallots, chopped (these are flavored like the child of an onion and garlic)
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive oil
Dried Basil (a good amount)
Dried oregano (not so much)
Salt to taste
About 1 TBS White sugar
1/2 TBS Brown sugar (optional)
1 can Fire Roasted tomatoes (split in half)
½ C heavy cream
1 TBS butter
For the Chicken:
Thin chicken breast fillets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan cheese for topping the dish.
Put it Together
*I used a basic store bought cheese tortellini.
Cook the tortellini according to the package.
For the sauce:
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. While the oil heats, using a food processor or electric chopper to chop half the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Blend the other half of the fire roasted tomatoes to make a liquid (I used my NutriBullet). Set chopped and liquefied tomatoes aside. Sauté the shallots in the olive oil until fragrant. Stir in the basil, oregano, white & brown sugars, salt, and pepper. Add the chopped and liquefied tomatoes into the pan with the shallots. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan. Add in the heavy cream and butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Taste and add more salt if needed.
For the Chicken:
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with garlic salt, pepper, oregano, salt and paprika (use the "layer method" as mentioned above). Cook the chicken until it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees (this usually takes about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken breast).
Slice the chicken along the shorter side.
Toss the cooked noodles in the tomato cream sauce. Top with the sliced chicken. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Chow down!
I would love to hear how this dish turns out for you. Comment to let me know how you like it!