Tortellini with homemade basil pesto has easily become of one my favorite go-to weeknight dishes, especially when I get home late and want to get dinner on the table fast.
I planted basil on our rooftop this summer and fortunately, I was able to make a large batch of pesto each time I harvested the leaves.
I used my favorite new kitchen appliance, our vacuum sealer, to package and seal the pesto, then froze it. Now I have what seems like an endless supply of pesto on hand, making this meal even easier!
To make basil pesto, start with about 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry. Add leaves and 1/4 cup pine nuts to a food processor. Sometimes (more like when I have the extra time) I like to toast the pine nuts before adding to the pesto for a nuttier flavor. To do this, preheat the oven to 250ºF, spread the pine nuts out in a thin layer on a baking sheet, and toast for about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch them carefully because you don’t want them to burn. Remove the pine nuts from the oven and cool completely before adding to the food processor.
Add in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 gloves of garlic, the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
Pulse until it’s roughly combined, then stream in about 2/3 cup olive oil while the food processor is running. I tend to eyeball this and stop pouring in oil once the pesto is combined and it reaches the desired consistency. I also usually stop the food processor at least once or twice while combining to scrape down the sides.
Once completely combined, you’re done. It’s really that easy.
I like to cook up tortellini with basil pesto, but you can use any time of pasta (or skip the pasta and add the pesto to a protein like chicken).
If you’re going the pasta route, cook the noodles per the package instructions. For tortellini, it’s usually about 3-5 minutes in a pot of salted, boiling water.
Drain the pasta once cooked.
Then add enough pesto to generously coat the noodles. I tend to eyeball this based on personal preference. You can add as much or as little pesto as you want.
Top with a little extra Parmesan cheese and enjoy immediately!
- 2 cups basil, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/4 c pine nuts
- 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 c olive oil
- In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Pulse a few times to start mixing.
- With the food processor running, slowly stream in olive oil until the ingredients are fully combined and the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
- Once cooked, add in desired amount of pesto to coat the pasta.
- Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.