Spring Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas, Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts & Mint
Do you think that’s a descriptive enough title? Should I have also told you that it has salt in it? Honestly though, I tried to shorten it, but I thought people needed to know what was in this perfect for springtime pasta right from the start. So no need to read on for the recipe, just print it out, go to the store and make this for dinner.
I don’t get any cooking magazines other than Fine Cooking. It isn’t loaded down with ads and is full of yummy recipes. I bookmarked this one the first time I went through the issue. It did not disappoint. We ate it warm the first night and then a few days later as a cold pasta salad for lunch. It was delicious each time. The flavors are refreshing and light, a great option for a warmer weather pasta dinner. It is a cinch to prepare since you use store bought tortellini. The only work you have to do is cut the asparagus, mince the garlic, chop the mint and toast the pine nuts. This meal came together incredibly fast. So fast, in fact, that Carson wasn’t yet in bed by the time it was done so I had to let it sit for a while before we ate.
The only things I changed from the original recipe were using a little less olive oil in the sauce, adding a few extra peas (I love peas), using 2 packages of tortellini totaling 18 ounces (just 2 ounces more than called for) I used 1 package of cheese and 1 of Italian sausage. I also used closer to 3 ounces of goat cheese (I love goat cheese). Make sure to reserve the pasta water! It makes a lovely sauce on this dish.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (or 2 9-ounce packages)
- 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
- 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 2-3 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a 6-quart covered pot, bring 3 quarts well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
- Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, then add the asparagus, and peas to the water and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
May 12, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
Just got around to making this recipe, and it is so delicious! I’m actually eating leftovers from last night as I type this 🙂 Love the goat cheese and the pine nuts. I didn’t add the mint, since my husband is not a mint fan, but I’m sure it would taste very fresh, as would Italian parsley for a little herbal note. This will definitely become one of our favorite pasta meals. Thank you, Carrie!
May 13, 2012 @ 8:17 am
I’m glad you tried it! Parsley would be a great alternative, and I will definitely try that next time. Thanks for the comment. It’s always nice to know that someone reads the blog 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!
October 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm
I have super tender asparagus that needs to be cooked and I’m excited to try this recipe tonight. Thanks for sharing 🙂