Swap in a jar of roasted red bell peppers for basil in this 20-minute weeknight-friendly pasta dish. Be sure to drain and rinse the red peppers to remove the brine (which can be a little too tangy). For an easy protein boost, top this garlicky tortellini with leftover roasted chicken or stir in a can of drained chickpeas. Keep sides simple with a salad or steamed asparagus.
- 20-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
- 5-ounce container fresh baby spinach
Bring water to boil for tortellini.
In the meantime, combine red peppers, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.* Season to taste with salt; set aside.
Boil tortellini according to package directions, about 2 minutes max. Drain and return to pot set over lowest heat setting. Add the pesto (I use all of it, but you could use less) and toss gently to coat. Fold in the spinach and continue to stir gently until it wilts, about 1 to 2 minutes.
*Using a blender will yield a silkier sauce while the food processor will maintain a bit of texture (similar to more traditional pesto). My preference is a blender, but you call the shots in your kitchen!
Best served right away.