Tortellini, Swiss Chard, Carrots & Fennel {Cooking for One}

Tortellini, Swiss Chard, Carrots & Fennel | In Jennie's Kitchen

Much as I try to stop, and eat lunch like a civilized person, there are those moments when I’m so slammed with work, the clock taunting me, that I end up eating a quick meal straight from the pan. Guilty as I feel in these moments for not doing a better job at carving out time for myself, I actually love these lunches. There’s something primal about them, cooked in the moment, “on the fly” as restaurant chefs would say.

There’s little thought beyond being hungry, and needing to satiate that hunger, and yet the result is always something I’d expect to order at a high-end restaurant. Part of the satisfaction is knowing I’m cooking just for my own pleasure. No worrying about what the kids like—these skillet lunches are all about me, and I love it. My inspiration runs wilds, as happened with this Tortellini with Swiss Chard, Carrots & Fennel.

Much of it was cobbled together from little bits of leftovers in the fridge. Some cooked pasta, fennel fronds harvested from the garden a few weeks ago that needed using up, and Swiss chard from one of my Marley Spoon meals (on that night I decided to swap in broccoli knowing the kids would like that more).

I wanted just a hint of garlic in the sauce, so I sautéed the cloves whole and removed them from the pan before adding the carrot and Swiss chard. You can discard it, but since waste is always on my mind, the better option is to use them to build flavor for another recipe. You can mash them with some olive oil, or mix them with softened butter for an easy garlic spread to use on bread, or to toss with cooked vegetables.

Tortellini, Swiss Chard, Carrots & Fennel | In Jennie's Kitchen

I tend to cook pasta in batches. This might seem an odd approach, but it’s really just another way of prepping for the next meal without much effort. Drain the extra pasta, store it in a container, and you can just add it to the pan once the sauce is cooked. Just remember—always save some of the pasta’s cooking water. That water is filled with starch from the pasta, and helps thicken up sauces, as is the case with this recipe.

Bowls and proper dishes need not apply when I make skillets meals. Part of the guilty pleasure is eating them straight from the pan.

Eight Years Ago: Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake, Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie, No Cook Cranberry Salsa.
Seven Years Ago: Instant Turkey Pot Pie, Brown Butter Apple Pie, Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce, Spice Scented Cranberry Sauce, Homemade Creamed Corn.
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Chess Pie, 100 Days.
Five Years Ago: Coconut Custard Pie
Four Years Ago: Banana, Walnut & White Chocolate Chunk Scones, Raspberry Croissant Bread Pudding, Homemade Pumpkin Syrup.
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Slab Pie, Mashed Potato Pie, Homemade Bagels, Marathon Soup, Foolproof Pie Crust.
Two Years Ago: My Best Pumpkin Pie, DIY Advent Calendar, Gruyere Cheese & Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits, How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes, DIY Brown Sugar.
One Year Ago: Chewy Oatmeal Walnut Allspice Cookies, Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk, Apple Cider Doughnuts, No Churn Maple Vanilla Ice Cream.

Tortellini, Swiss Chard, Carrots & Fennel {Cooking for One}

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1 medium carrot, diced fine
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 big Swiss chard leaves, ribs removed & leaves cut into ribbons
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ cup pasta cooking water
  • Chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 tablespoon, freshly grated pecorino locatelli cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cooked cheese tortellini

Instructions

  1. Add a swirl of oil to coat the bottom of a small skillet. Heat over medium flame until shimmering, then add the garlic . Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from skillet, and save for another use.
  2. Add the carrots to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and again, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard, and sauté until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the mascarpone until melted, then stir in the pasta water.
  4. Add the fennel fronds, pecorino, and season with salt and pepper again. Stir in the tortellini. Cook for 1 minute, until pasta is heated through. Serve immediately.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave