This pasta was something that we came up with pretty much on a whim. Rob and I were texting over the course of the day trying to figure out what we wanted for dinner. We knew we wanted pasta and I gave Rob two thoughts: sun-dried tomato and stuff pasta. He filled in the blanks with using some arugula we had on hand to make pesto and combining that with a cream sauce. I love that he also has a mind for food, even if he doesn’t like cooking so much himself.
This was an overall very simple recipe concept but it had so much flavor. I actually based he cream sauce on one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes. Even better, it was really easy to eat with a light flavor with a lot of depth. Despite the cream and cheese-filled pasta, it didn’t feel heavy at all making it a perfect year-round pasta option. This one will definitely be on the rotation again in the spring and summer. You can also use the pesto as a really good spread for crustini or as a sandwich topping so don’t worry about making to much; there are plenty of uses. I really like arugula as a pesto base since it gives a natural bite it. Sun-dried tomato, on the other hand, brings some salt making them a great pairing.
The funny thing with this recipe was that I definitely was not sure if it was going to look appetizing. Honestly, the sun-dried tomato pesto wasn’t necessarily the prettiest thing on the planet. Green and red end up making for a strange combination, but when it tastes this good, who cares. In the end it actually came out looking really good in the sauce, it had a slightly orange color that said tomato cream sauce. Topped with the arugula and parmesan, it looked like something I’d get at a nice Italian restaurant.
I will also say that I did not make the pasta, it was a weeknight and that is way too much effort. Instead, I went with pasta from a local company, La Pasta in Silver Spring, MD, that I found at Whole Foods. One thing that I do like about Whole Foods (at least the one I go to) is how they often stock locally produced items. I can get pasta, coffee, produce, and baked goods to name a few things. I really love support local producers, people who are passionate about food and produce high quality ingredients.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Tortellini
- 1 Lb Tortellini
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Shallot finely diced
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 Cup Baby Arugula
- 1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts Walnuts are a cheaper alternative
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Lemon Zested and Juiced
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic depending on size
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Combine all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Blend until all ingredients are a uniform size, it should be slightly “grainy”.
- Boil water for the pasta. Most stuffed pastas cook very quickly, usually 3-4 minutes, so time the start to coincide with the sauce.
- In a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.
- Add the shallot and cook for 4-5 minutes. The shallot should be golden brown.
- Add the cream, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in about 1/4 Cup of the pesto to the cream and stir to combine evenly. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes (this is a good time to start the pasta).
- Drizzle the sauce over the pasta and top with arugula and parmesan shavings.