Chicken Tortelloni & Pesto Salad Basil Pesto
In Italian, tortelloni with an “oh” means “large little pies.” Tortelloni look like great, big overgrown tortellini, and they cook up like a tender pasta pillow. Here we’ve used little pies that are stuffed with chicken and prosciutto, the perfect savory companion to all the other bright, fresh flavors in the salad. Dig your fork into the bowl, and you’ll get slivers of sweet tart sun-dried tomato, a smear of tangy goat cheese, the tortelloni, and the peppery arugula — all tossed in a bright, herbaceous pesto sauce that pulls it all together. A deeply satisfying bite!
For an easy weeknight dinner, we like to make the pesto the night before — or even on the weekend — so it’s ready to go. The salad itself comes together in a snap. You can stir a handful of arugula through the tortelloni when it’s still warm, so the leaves wilt a little. Or if you want a bit more greens in the dish, you can do as we’ve done here, and make a bed of arugula and top it with warm or cold pasta.
Our tip: We’ve included a fantastic recipe for pesto. When you combine the ingredients, be careful not to over-process the pesto. You want the ingredients chopped small, but not emulsified. That helps all the ingredients maintain their autonomy in the sauce — so you can taste the basil, garlic, and pinenuts.
1 20-oz pkg Buitoni refrigerated chicken and prosciutto tortelloni
½ to ¾ cup pesto (see recipe below)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
3 to 4 cups baby and/or micro arugula
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Toasted pine nuts for garnish
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions, and then drain, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Set the pasta aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pesto and reserved water and stir to combine well.
- Add the tomatoes, arugula, and cheese and toss gently to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with pine nuts.
Recipe source: Buitoni
2 cups basil
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
½ cup olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Combine the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.
Turn the food processor on and add the olive oil in a slow stream until it’s gone and a chunky sauce has formed.
Season with salt and pepper, stir, and serve immediately.
Pesto can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.