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Tortellini with Goat Cheese and Sautéed Tomatoes

This is one of the best pasta dishes that we prepare in our kitchen.  The tangy flavor of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the fresh cherry tomatoes is simply divine.  It's also an easy dish to prepare, coming together in minutes once the tortellini is ready.  For the tortellini we use the ones that are cheese stuffed, but any type will work well.

1 pound    tortellini, fresh or dried
4 ounces    goat cheese, plain or herbed
½ cup    fresh basil, finely chopped
½ teaspoon    kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)
½ teaspoon    black pepper
½ teaspoon    crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 tablespoons    fresh garlic, minced
½ cup    pitted black olives, thinly sliced
1 pint    cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
¾ - 1 cup    chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon    olive oil

Preheat oven to about 200 degrees and place a large pasta bowl in to warm.

Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions.  It should be cooked fairly well so as not to absorb too much of the sauce.  Otherwise the pasta will quickly become dry.  If this does happen simply add additional broth and toss to moisten.  When the pasta is ready, drain and place in the warmed pasta bowl.  Add the cheese, basil, salt and peppers and toss well until the cheese has melted and all is well combined.  Return to warm oven.

To a heated skillet add the oil and swirl to coat.  Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, about one minute.  Add the tomatoes and olives and sauté an additional 2 minutes.  Add the broth and allow it to warm up.

Remove pasta bowl from oven.  Add tomatoes mixture to pasta and toss well to combine.



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