Tortellini with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
My best friend, Amanda, used to be the pickiest of eaters. She has come a long way since her early days of Elio’s and McDonald’s, but is still a tough critic on new food. She loves Italian food, but hates risotto, for example. However, this pasta dish is my go-to dinner to make for her. The first time I made it, I was actually surprised that she liked the sauce, since sun-dried tomatoes have such a strong flavor. Yet she asks for this pretty much every time I come home! Last night, I taught her step-by-step how to pull this dish together, and she was so surprised at how easy it is! I gave her our old mini food processor as a take-home gift, so now she can make this for me next time I come over! If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes to make a chunky sauce instead of a pesto. I have done this at friend’s houses before and it turns out almost as well! However, I would highly recommend at least investing in a mini food processor – they are seriously my favorite time saving tool in the kitchen!
I served this with some grilled chicken, which you can slice up and mix into the pasta, serve on the side, or ignore completely. I also steamed up some broccoli, Amanda’s favorite veggie, which again can go on the side or be mixed into the pasta. The pasta is pretty bare-bones and can be spiced up with a lot of things. I topped mine with a few caramelized onions left-over from that big batch from last week (they really last forever because of the slow cooking method with oil!) and some Parmesan cheese. If you are a tomato lover, it would also be good with some fresh tomatoes stirred in as well. Definitely give this dinner a try – it’s the dish my friends at home all know me by and love me for, and I hope you like it too!
Tortellini with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup olive oil (if not already packed in oil)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1 lb tortellini
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
Chop sun-dried tomatoes roughly to make them easier to process. If they are already packed in oil, use the packing oil. If not, pour olive oil over the tomatoes until it reaches 1 cup and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil; salt it and then cook tortellini. You know tortellini (or any other stuffed pasta) is done when it begins to float. In a small food processor, combine Dijon mustard, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil. Blend until a smooth pesto is formed. Mix with cooked tortellini and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with desired veggies.