To ease the burden of traveling for work every week, I finally started booking hotel rooms with kitchens. My new three month assignment is Miami – which is lovely and all, and not short of dining options – but I still miss being able to cook and eat my own food.


The kitchen is small and pretty limited (no oven!), but it’s better than nothing.

Although I can’t keep anything perishable over the weekend, I’ve started to leave a bag with necessities like salt, pepper, olive oil, and hot sauce with the front desk.

I brought a spare jar of Spanish paprika from home, one of my absolute favorite ingredients. Which brings me to the meal I made this week: tortellini with yogurt, mint, and smoked paprika oil. This recipe is from Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease by Rozanne Gold. Like most recipes in the book, it sounds fancy and complicated, but it actually requires almost zero work. It’s also a pretty genius combination of flavors. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it more intensely flavorful – mostly by using spicy instead of sweet paprika (and more of it) and putting chopped garlic in the olive oil for a little bit of a bite.

Tortellini with Yogurt, Mint and Smoked Paprika Oil (serves 4)

20 oz. tortellini (I used chicken tortellini but I think it would have been better with meat or cheese)
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. spicy smoked paprika
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 c. non-fat Greek yogurt, room temperature
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c. mint leaves, torn

Cook the tortellini until al dente. Toss in a small drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.

Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt and the paprika oil. For the yogurt, just add one tablespoon of the olive oil and some salt. Whisk together. For the paprika oil, add the paprika and the minced garlic to the remaining four tablespoons of oil.

To serve, top the tortellini with small dollops of yogurt and drizzle with a little bit of the paprika oil. Top with salt, pepper, and the mint leaves.

I think this dish will be almost just as good cold, so I packed up a portion to eat on my flight home tomorrow.

I just hope it makes it through security!

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