A creamy, easy-to-make, and super-flavorful pasta dish is something that’s hard to ignore. Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Arugula Pesto is irresistible!
What can you do when you have a small, raised-bed garden and your arugula greens are growing out of control? I swear the “Mission Impossible” theme song was running through my head as I looked at my little garden in amazement!
My mission was to find a delicious use for my amazing arugula. Mission accomplished! My Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Arugula Pesto is a creamy, filling, and colorful dish that’s meatless, too.
I’m so happy that we can grow even a little something in our backyard. It’s nothing like the giant garden my parents put together, but it’s my little patch of goodness.
I’ve eaten countless salads and soups made with my garden’s arugula, but eventually, I found myself shouting, “WHAT MORE CAN I DO WITH YOU, ARUGULA?” To myself and in my head, in case you imagined me standing outside, shaking my fist at my garden.
Then it hit me, “Well, Patricia, you can make pesto with arugula!” I’ve made pesto using kale (check out my recipe for kale pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and white beans).
I use red peppers and artichoke for my grilled shrimp wraps with red pepper-artichoke pesto recipe. And, of course, I’ve gone with tradition and used basil for pesto in my spaghetti squash “pasta” with pesto and roasted tomatoes recipe.
But it’s now time for arugula to shine: Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Arugula Pesto is full of flavor and color, and, get this: you can have in on the table in about 20 minutes — 30 minutes, tops.
Use fresh tortellini to make this dish quickly. The cooking time on the package of cheese tortellini I picked up was just 7 minutes. Here’s the silly thing: it was a 9-ounce-package of tortellini. Not 8 ounces. Not 10 ounces. Nine ounces! It worked and serves four people, easily.
Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Arugula Pesto is a colorful dish that works well for a special occasion, or for any weeknight dinner. It’s easy to toss it together, and the arugula works perfectly to make a delightful pesto.
Yields 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 2 cups (packed) arugula leaves
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt, to season
- Ground black pepper, to season
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Combine all the ingredients (start with 1 tablespoon of the oil and add more if needed) in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed.
- Remove and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable broth to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tortellini. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook for another minute or so. Add the cream to the mixture and gently toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
- Remove from the heat and gently fold in the pesto.
- Serve warm.