I’ve been gone for so long (almost 2 months!) I feel like I should reintroduce myself.
Hi, I’m Elsa and welcome to my blog; today I thought I’d share with you this almost no-recipe recipe for tortellini with peas and pesto cream sauce.
I started working on this post towards the end of summer. I was going to post it along with my notes on the bountiful late-harvest produce from our farmers’ markets, and how I thought summer was undoubtedly the best season to eat local based the chock-full of locally grown produce at the market. We were so inspired, we tried our hands at preserving some late-summer produce to enjoy throughout the year – a summer forever sort of thing.
We spent a few afternoons and evenings out on the balcony shelling peas, making pesto, slow roasting tomatoes, pitting cherries, chopping peaches and strawberries, and washing blueberries for the freezer. When we were content and proud we weren’t going to go into winter starving, we usually celebrated with a quick-to-pull-together dinner like this tortellini.
Summer is long gone now, we’re currently buried under rain-soaked grey clouds yet last weekend we shucked corn at the market and got late-season Okanagan field tomatoes, which I thought was remarkable. The tomatoes were handy for recreating this mushroom, tomato and wine sauce my sister made while we were on vacation. Like this tortellini, it’s so easy to make, you almost don’t need a recipe. You do however need to have a few items on hand for this dish to come together smoothly.
You’ll need pesto, use a little or a lot, depending on how saucy you like your pasta; you’ll need tomatoes – I used slow roasted tomatoes, but you can use sun-dried or fresh cherry tomatoes, if you can find them. You’ll also need frozen peas, coconut milk and your tortellini.
I have a tortellini guy, he’s the guy at the Italian store who texts me when the dried porcini mushroom tortellini is in stock. It’s the only cheese-less tortellini I can find, but it tends to fly off the shelves (hence my tortellini guy!).
It’s not imperative that you use tortellini, feel free to experiment with other pastas – I’m thinking, ravioli, cappelletti, orecchiette, cavatelli or even gnocchi would work splendidly.
Also, you can cook the peas with the tortellini/pasta. I don’t remember where I learned this tip, but in the last minute of the pasta cooking, add the peas to the pasta, stir gently and drain the pasta and peas when the minute is up – so easy!
This is the kind of hearty delicious pasta everyone loves, it’s perfect on its own or as a side and leftovers are wonderful.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (find recipe here), or other type of pesto
- 1/2 cup chopped slow roasted tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen English peas (thawed)
- 1 1b cooked tortellini, your favourite variety (or mini ravioli or cappelletti)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley, plus more for garnish
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan
- Add onions and sauté, stirring often for about 2 minutes until softened and fragrant
- Mix in pesto, add tomatoes and let it cook for another minute or so
- Add coconut milk and peas and stir well, bring to a low simmer
- Add tortellini and toss gently to coat
- Add pepper flakes and salt to taste
- Remove from heat and stir in basil or parsley