Brown Butter Tortellini
20 oz tortellini (cheese or something else, your choice)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
grated zest of one lemon
5 oz torn arugula or other bitter/spicy greens
ground black pepper
Prepare tortellini as indicated on the package; I suggest adding a tablespoon of olive oil as well as salt to the water to keep them from sticking.
While that is going on, brown the butter. You do this by cutting it into pieces, melting it in a saucepan, and then continuing to cook it, stirring frequently, until it is a rich caramel color and has a nutty scent. It will develop brown flecks, which is fine, but keep stirring so it doesn't burn. When browned, remove from heat for a minute so it can cool. Whisk in vinegar, a couple generous pinches of salt, and most of the lemon zest.
Drain tortellini, saving a small quantity of the salted water, and place in large bowl. Pour the sauce over the tortellini and toss to coat. Add a small splash of the pasta water and toss again.
Add arugula and toss until gently wilted and then serve immediately, topped with cheese, pepper, and remaining lemon zest.
Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry they are. :D
This would also probably be great with chicken breast flavored with similar flavors, for those of you who want to add a protein source.