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Basil Pesto Cream with Tortellini is a fantastic dish that can be on the table in under 30 minutes.
If you’re wondering what to do with all that pesto we made earlier this week, wonder no more!
Last summer I attended a convention with my husband in Clearwater Florida. At one of the banquet dinners they served a wide variety of foods with one table filled with pasta dishes. I fell in love with the pesto cream sauce ladled over tortellini which is saying a lot because I hardly ever “like” banquet food. They had food tables positioned in the four corners of the convention hall and almost 500 people lined up to fill their plates with the huge variety. I skipped most of the food tables but did go back for seconds on the tortellini.
I’ve thought about that dish several times over the past year and finally had to make it for myself. There is something about this recipe that I love and can’t wait to make again. Maybe it’s the fresh, bold flavor of the pesto, or the salty grated Parmesan cheese that lures me in – but whatever it is, I’m smitten. I threw in the broccoli to make this a complete meal and am thrilled with the results. I don’t mind telling you that my version is way better than the banquet recipe!
The sauce could not be more simple. Half-n-half, cream or milk is combined with pesto and simmered for a few minutes until thickened. Grated Parmesan is added to the sauce along with fresh ground black pepper. Toss in the cooked tortellini and fresh steamed broccoli and dinner is ready. If you made the pesto ahead of time, you can probably put dinner on the table in under 15 minutes!
This would be a great dish to serve a crowd, like a banquet with 500 convention attendees. The cheesy tortellini holds up well in the sauce and soaks up the amazing pesto flavor without falling apart. Can you tell I like this dish? My husband and I shared this bowl and had plenty of leftovers that I devoured the next day – and it was still good!
Don’t forget to PIN to your favorite easy dinner board!
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup basil pesto click HERE for recipe
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 9 ounces cooked cheese tortellini
- 2 cups steamed broccoli florets
- Fresh grated black pepper
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. Set aside to drain.
- Combine the half-and-half, butter and pesto in a large skillet. Heat until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Remove from the heat and season with ground pepper. Toss the sauce with the cooked broccoli and drained tortellini.
- Serve immediately garnished with additional Parmesan if desired.
Whole milk or heavy cream can be substituted for the half-and-half. If using cream, omit the butter, if using milk, add another tablespoon of unsalted butter.
adapted from a recipe on food.com
And finally, I found a visitor in my garden enjoying dinner – but she wasn’t eating our vegetables … so no garden-to-table post today!
Praying Mantis are such an amazing insect and the females are quite ruthless. They actually eat the males after mating – so … yeah. There’s that. Praying Mantis have very strong front arms used to capture their prey and then eat it alive. Hateful little things aren’t they?
She was getting tired of me bothering her while eating dinner – but how cool is that? I took these photos with a 100mm macro lens that allows you to be a little father away but still grab that closeup shot.
Hope you enjoyed the little bug lesson and this amazing recipe!
Here is a link to some of the camera equipment I use to shoot pesto and bugs, and while traveling:
The Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 100mm Macro Lens
I also love the following lenses and often use the 50mm for the blog. The wide angle lens is my favorite for landscapes and large area photos.
The Canon 50mm and the Canon 17-40mm wide angle zoom lens
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Okay then – have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!