Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wishing for Spring: Tortelleni with Pistachio Pesto

  Hello all! Happy Wednesday! I am really enjoying my week off and trying to get everything ready for my trip to France. The show went fabulously. I will post the great review we got and some pictures later. In preparation for my Europe trip, I am getting inspired by cooking Italian. I have a special love for Italy. My husband lived there for awhile and I got to go visit him a couple of times. I have traveled with the dance company there as well. Anyways, I got an exciting email from Foodbuzz awhile back announcing a cooking contest featuring Barilla Tortellini. The prize: an amazing trip to ITALY!!!

Here's an excerpt from the email:

"Barilla is challenging Foodbuzz Featured Publishers to imagine an Italian-inspired recipe or meal created with Barilla Tortellini. Barilla Tortellini is an authentic taste of Italy, made of the finest all-natural ingredients. While, it’s sometimes thought of as a special occasion food, tortellini is an easy and versatile dish that allows you to whip up plenty of healthy, delicious recipes to share with friends and family."

I think that's totally true about tortellini. It's simple to cook and easy to add ingredients to make a healthy meal. When I think about Italy some things that comes to mind are Gelato and Pesto! They are definitely weaknesses of mine! My favorite gelato flavor is Pistachio. So I decided to try a pistachio pesto! My dad was just asking if I have made my pesto that way. Since I hadn't, what a perfect day to try! I didn't have basil on hand so I used arugula and cilantro which I think gave it a great spicy flavor! I love challenges like this, because it makes me feel like I am on Iron Chef America......Hope you enjoy! Ciao!

Tortellini with Pistachio-Pesto

~Cheese tortellini with feta cheese & sun dried tomatoes in a pistachio-pesto sauce

1 1/2 cups arugula
1/2 cup cilantro
1 cup shelled dry roasted pistachios
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4-2/3 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

1 package BARILLA  Three Cheese Tortellini, Family Size
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup sliced baby portobella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 1/2 cups arugula
1 cup feta cheese

1. Put all ingredients for pesto in food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add olive oil as needed. Set aside.

1.  Add oil to skillet and saute onions 15-20 minutes until onions are a dark golden brown. Next, add in mushrooms and saute until tender about five minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes and stir to incorporate. Finally, add in arugula and saute until slightly wilted.  Set aside with pesto.

2. Meanwhile, prepare tortellini as directed by package. Turn on oven broiler to low. After draining the pasta, stir pesto into tortellini. Then add sun dried tomato-mushroom mixture and 1/2 cup feta cheese. Gently toss together. Spread out into a 13x9 inch dish. Top with remaining (1/2 cup) feta cheese. Place in oven and broil on low for 10 minutes or until browned lightly.
The sun dried tomato-mushroom mixture


Delicious final dish!

Dish it up!

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