Easy Spinach Pesto Tortellini

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: about 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe Info

20 oz refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 ounces baby spinach
¾ cup basil pesto (6-7 oz)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions for al dente pasta. During the last 30 seconds, add spinach to boiling pasta water, stirring until incorporated and wilted.
Remove from heat and strain pasta and spinach into a colander. Return pasta and spinach to the stock pot. Add pesto, tossing pasta until evenly coated. Do a taste test, then add salt and pepper to taste (the type of pesto used may be salty enough on its own).
Portion tortellini into serving bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve warm.

Optional additions – As written, this recipe is simple and quick, with only four ingredients needed (plus salt and pepper). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add in an extra ingredient or two to stretch this dish even further. Here are a few ideas: shredded, rotisserie chicken, can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, sauteed zucchini, steamed broccoli, halved cherry tomatoes, or frozen peas (added during the last minute of pasta boiling).

To prevent soggy spinach – Add it during the last 30 seconds of cooking. Otherwise, it will get very soggy and break down when cooked for too long.

Tortellini can be substituted with any flavor of refrigerated or frozen tortellini or ravioli.
¾ cup of pesto = about 6 to 7 ounces
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is best. Pre-grated cheeses are coated in anti-clumping powders that prevent even melting and add a grainy texture.
Leftovers will keep for 3 or more days in a sealed container in the refrigerator and reheat well. Leftovers can also be served cold.

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