Let’s say you’re having a party. Let’s say between 40 and 50 hungry people are coming. Let’s say you decided that you were going to make all finger food because you a) wanted to challenge yourself a bit, b) you like finger food, and c) you just can’t bear to put out Costco plastic forks for people to use only to be thrown away en masse at the end of the evening. (We can put paper plates and napkins in our yard waste containers here in Seattle.) Let’s say you needed at least one dish that was easy, looked pretty, and you knew people would gobble up. Enter tortellini skewers.
This is not rocket science. You boil up storebought tortellini and skewer it with a stick. The secret here is two fold. That little leaf of basil you see tucked between each noodle adds color and a burst of flavor (this was my touch – you’re welcome, Martha.) And the sauce, which is not pictured, is one of those that taste far better than it’s components would suggest (although they are good components.) Yes, the tortellini needs to be cooked and skewered just before serving but the sauce can be made the day before, the boiling takes no brain power, and you can let your mom do the assembling. Thanks Mom!
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Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeurvres Handbook
Makes 3 1/2 dozen
Parmesan – Lemon Dip
1 cup crème fraiche
2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated on the small wholes if a box cheese grater
Grated zest of one lemon and juice of 1 large lemon
5 cloves roasted garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds tortellini
Basil leaves (opal and green basil look especially nice)
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the crème fraiche, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Set the dip aside until ready to use. (DT: Can be one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the tortellini until just tender. Drain the pasta and sprinkle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
3. Put 2 tortellini on small, 6-inch skewers with one leaf small leaf or one large folded leaf basil. Serve with dipping sauce.