[Truffle Tortellini] With Chicken and Mushrooms

This recipe can easily be made vegan by using plant-based dairy where butter and cream are used, your preferred pasta and omitting the chicken, Just add seitan, tempeh or simply more mushrooms instead.  

Truffle Tortellini with Spinach, Chicken and Mushrooms 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 small onion, minced 
1 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt, divided in half  
500g (about 1lb) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in medium cubes (around 3cm or 1" pieces) 
450g (1 lb) mushrooms, halved and sliced, (Optional: stems can be removed, *see notes) 
4 large cloves garlic, minced 
1½ tablespoons thyme, fresh leaves, plus extra for garnishing
½ teaspoon quality black truffle oil 
1 tablespoon quality butter, unsalted (or use vegan butter) 
85g (2 cups) baby spinach, fresh 
236ml (1 cup) chicken broth or vegetable broth 
240ml (1 cup) cream or plant-based cream (I have used cashew cream before) 
120ml (½ cup) dry white wine 
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 
¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
500-600g (1.5 lbs./1 large pkg.) tortellini, cheese-filled or spinach-filled  
50g (½ cup) Pecorino Romano, grated
1 teaspoon black truffle carpaccio, preserved - (Optional) 
1. Clean mushrooms by removing dirt with a damp cloth or paper towel. Alternatively, you can clean the mushrooms by filling a large bowl with cold water, and gently stir them a couple of times with your hands. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl, and dry completely with a clean cloth. With a knife halve each mushroom then slice each mushroom 1 or 2 times more. 

2. Remove the fresh thyme leaves from the sprigs until you have 1½ tablespoons. Set aside. 

  1. 1. Heat a large non-stick skillet or stainless-steel skillet over high heat. Pour in the olive oil, swirling the pan so that the oil coats the skillet. Now, add the onions to the pan. 

  1. 2. Turn down the heat to medium-high. Cook the onions until they are slightly opaque in colour, not browned.  Add in half of the salt (½ teaspoon) to season the onions.  

  1. 3. Add in the chicken and cook until goldened brown, with no pink inside. 

  1. 4. Add in the mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme leaves, truffle oil, and butter. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the mushrooms over and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the baby spinach. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir occasionally, and cook for about 1 minute.   

  1. 5. Slowly stir in the chicken broth, cream, white wine, black pepper, garlic powder, and (the other ½ teaspoon of) salt. Add the tortellini and bring it to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is tender.  

  1. 6. Add the Pecorino Romano cheese. Lightly stir with a spoon. 

    7. Disperse black truffle carpaccio pieces over the tortellini. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Serve hot. 

*For the mushrooms: Although I prefer to use the whole mushroom, after cleaning them, if you prefer to remove stems that are too woody do the following: Carefully use your thumb and pointer finger to remove stems by twisting each mushroom stem and pulling it outward.  

*If you don’t have preserved truffles you can use a bit more truffle oil or truffle powder. Just note that it should be a quality brand, truffle powder tends to have added salt. I like to use fresh truffles only for special dishes since they are quite expensive, and carpaccio (preserved black summer truffles used here) is an excellent and affordable alternative to buying fresh truffles. Since this isn’t a full-on truffle dish, but simply used for additional flavour, the carpaccio works well here. 

*If you don’t have cream, then use ‘half and half’ (in the States you may also use “heavy cream”). You need something with rich fats so a cashew cream or any of the aforementioned will work, even a half whole milk w/half double cream (in the UK) option!
This is an original recipe by Madison of FASHION TALES BLOG. This is part of a food series. View more culinary inspiration here