That's a lot of Paris in July goodness! Here are The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child, Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn, Immoveable Feast by John Baxter, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, and My Life in France by Julia Child. I paid $9 for all, and then, since my husband is out of town, I took them all to bed and slept with them by my side. Before falling asleep, I came across this gem from the master herself, Julia Child:
One of the secrets of cooking is to learn to correct something if you can, and bear with it if you cannot. (ix)True in cooking, true in life. As this book is oriented around the television episodes, I now want to find them and watch some and try to make something, anything, from this book. I'm a pretty decent cook, yet this is daunting material.
Channeling my inner Julia, I did something I never do: made up dinner. I say I am a decent cook, but really I'm a recipe follower. The other night, though, I needed to make something happen in our makeshift kitchen, and no recipe was available. I had a package of Buitoni tortellini in the fridge, but I don't have a range upon which to boil a large pot of water. I looked for recipes online that involved baking said pasta, but all called for boiling it first. Oh well, I thought, and went for it anyway. Here is the result:
Baked Tortellini with Bacon
4 slices bacon
1/4 - 1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 zucchini, diced (increase to two or three small zucchini next time)
6-10 grape tomatoes, quartered (increase these as well)
1/2 - 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
20-oz package refrigerated three-cheese tortellini
10 turkey pepperoni, quartered (could leave these out)
Shredded cheese (I only had cheddar but would definitely use mozzarella next time)
Parmesan and fresh basil to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare medium casserole dish.
2. In medium skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool/drain; crumble. Do not drain off bacon grease. Spread tortellini evenly over bottom of casserole.
3. In warm bacon grease (medium-high heat), saute onion and garlic until softened. Add zucchini and tomatoes, and saute until cooked through. Pour chicken broth over all and deglaze pan. Allow to boil for a few moments and then pour broth and vegetables over tortellini. Stir to mix well.
4. Stir in bacon (or sprinkle on top if you prefer it to stay crisp). Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.
5. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Top with grated or fresh shredded parmesan and fresh basil.