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Cheese Tortellini with Walnut Pesto
© Christina Holmes

Cheese Tortellini with Walnut Pesto

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Here's one of the quickest pesto sauces you'll come across. It's a perfect match for cheese tortellini, but you can use other tortellini such as mushroom or meat instead. The pesto is also great with just about any plain pasta.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  1. 1 cup walnuts
  2. 1/3 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley with thick stems removed
  3. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  4. 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  8. 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  9. 1 tablespoon butter
  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the walnuts, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper to a coarse puree.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini until just done, about 4 minutes for fresh and 12 minutes for frozen. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the tortellini. Toss with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the walnut pesto, and the butter. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and pass more at the table.
Notes Fresh, Frozen, and Dried Tortellini We recommend fresh tortellini, which are sold in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets. Frozen are a close second and great to have on hand. Both of these are better than dried.

Suggested Pairing

Look for a crisp, acidic white wine to cut through the richness of the walnuts. A Sauvignon Blanc from either California or New Zealand would be suitable.