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FRIED TORTELLINI WITH ARTICHOKE-SPINACH DIP
After many requests for a recipe for this exceptional appetizer by Copeland's Restaurnt of New Orleans, this is the closest I could come to it....an elegant appetizer, to be sure. Prepare the dip a day ahead, and fry the tortellini just before guests arrive.
Prep.Time: Dip-10 minutes (1 day ahead); Tortellini-20 minutes
1 can artichoke hearts (16 oz.) -- drained
1 bag fresh spinach (10 oz.)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound refrigerated fresh cheese tortellini
Vegetable oil for frying
DIP: In a food processor or blender, chop artichoke hearts; set aside. Wash spinach well; blanch in boiling water. Drain well and squeeze dry; add to food processor or blender with remaining ingredients and process until just blended. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.
TORTELLINI: Place oil to a depth of about 2 inches in a large saucepan; heat to 365º. Fry a few tortellini at a time just until light golden brown; remove to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt. Serve immediately on a decorative plate with chilled dip.

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved