Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tortellini Tikka Masala : Gastro-remix Inspired by hitRECord

I'm probably one of the biggest procrastinators out there. Just sit me in front of a computer (with internet access) and I'll be happily occupied for days if not forever. 

It always starts innocently enough, with a quick log-in to gmail to check messages (estimated time: 5 minutes)—you know, just a quick in-and-out maintenance. 

Fast forward to 2 hours later and I'm furiously trying to figure out the typeface to a Logan Walters' redesign of Wu-Tang Clan album. Productive night fail.

Once in a blue moon, procrastination can produce some fruitful results, such as creating a new recipe for tortellinis. 

Strangely enough, it started with watching an interview with Joseph Gordon Levitt on Team Coco's website after being stuck staring at a plate of uncooked tortellinis and deciding to take a break. Mesmerized with the plain red button that JGL was wearing, it led me on a google search. Turns out it is the logo for his production company, hitRECord… interesting.

After a quick stroll through the site and finding out it's for artists collaborations, I then sign up and proceeded to spend the next hour checking out projects—this one is a goodie (To warn you, clicking on the link may lead to your own procrastination odyssey!) 

While I was going through all the remixes on JGL's site, it clicked. Tortellinis doesn't have to be prepared with a classic Italian sauce and accompaniments, why not take a page from hitRECord and remix it with a different cuisine? After all, I often wish I could pair sauces from one restaurant with main courses of a another.

With that way of thinking, everything fell in place. Three-cheese trifecta tortellinis on a play date of a lifetime with the spicy and sassy tikka masala—tastes like a Vespa ride on the set of a Bollywood feature or JBL's mismatched Badtz Maru socks. Ok, definitely not that, but you get the idea. 

Give it spin and let me know what you think!

Tortellini Tikka Masala
Serves 6

1 package Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini

Tikka Masala
2 tb canola oil
1 small onion, diced (around 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp ginger, minced 
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 pinch pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp garam masala (or curry powder if you can't find it)
1 tsp paprika 
1 tsp cumin
1 jar Classico marinara pasta sauce (any brand is fine)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup silvered almonds, toasted
1 tb lemon zest
Cilantro sprigs
Olive oil

1. Prepare the tortellinis according to package directions. It should take around the same amount of time as the sauce.

2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil, onion, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions essentially melt. Around 10 minutes. This is the flavor foundation on which the sauce builds upon so don't skimp on the time spent here!

3. Add the pepper flakes, garam masala, paprika and cumin to the onion mixture and stir for a few minutes to let the flavors meld and bloom in the oil. 

4. Add the sauce and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Once that's finished, turn off the heat, stir in the cream, cilantro and salt to taste. 

5. To plate, pour a healthy ladle of the tikka masala sauce on a plate, add as few (or as many) tortellinis as you like and garnish with a sprinkle of almonds, cilantro, and lemon zest. Top with a peppery olive oil and enjoy!


  1. Lol! Brilliant, Tsz! I'd totally eat a bowl or two for dinner tonight.

  2. A definitely interesting collaboration! I could use a bowl of that!

  3. oh wow, that looks and sounds delicious! although, i have never had tikki masala, or tasted anything to do with masala before. it just looks totally scrumptious though! :D
    i will definitely try making this sometime. i loveee tortellini! especially three cheese; yumm! :)

  4. Ooo this looks soo delicious, the flavors sound amazing! Loving your blog, so glad to be your newest follower! :)

  5. I was going to make a spinach tortellini soup today but I am out of chicken stock - this looks amazing!

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  7. Nice work .Thanks for the share. Keep up writing so that we can get more yummy recipe like this one.
    Tortellini recipes


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