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Home » Recipes » Entrées » Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto

Tender Tortellini with fresh pesto made from mint and Thai basil and tossed with crisp sugar snap peas from your own garden.

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto from The Foodie Army Wife | #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Nothing beats cooking a dish with ingredients that you have grown yourself. There’s just something so fulfilling in taking something from a little seed that you push into the soil, to a nutritious meal to feed your family.

American Family Insurance joins us this week to encourage you to get out there and experience the satisfaction of eating something you have grown yourself!

When my kids were little, one of my favorite science courses to teach was when we did an entire year of Botany. Teaching them how the plants grow, what the parts of the seeds do, and getting their hands dirty as they took part in the “labs” for the class. It was such a great way to get them involved. I’ve noticed that when they go to all the time and effort of raising those baby plants to completion, even the pickiest of eaters will be happy to eat their veggies!

It was so much fun watching them run out to see if anything had bloomed overnight, or if the tomatoes were red yet. One year my son grew watermelons and learned the hard lesson that nature loves a garden too…deer or rabbits or something had eaten all his babies one night. But he kept at it! The next year a fence went in around the garden.

Being a military family, we move a great deal. But the fact that we moved never stopped me from growing edibles in my yard. Most houses we haven’t been able to have an in-ground garden, but you can bet my entire porch was covered in pots and boxes, and often I had raised beds in the backyard, like when we lived at Fort Bragg.

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And let me tell you, it produced like you wouldn’t believe! Here I harvested some herbs and a few potatoes and other goodies one afternoon.

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And that’s not all…

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One year we even grew corn in pots. Yes, corn!

One of the things about gardening in pots, is that we can take it with us when we move…or like I did when we moved to Alaska, I gifted my neighbors with their own little garden.

I know not everyone has a lot of space in their yard to have a garden, or maybe you don’t have a yard at all. When we lived in Germany, we had a little balcony. I lined the window ledge with window boxes normally used for flower and grew gobs of cherry tomatoes, onion and other goodies.

So whether you want an acre garden, or some potted herbs in your kitchen window, I encourage you to go for it! Do what you can to make it fresh right from your garden.

And what to do with the bounty you have harvested?

We have just the ticket!

For my tortellini with garden fresh pesto, begin by toasting a quarter cup of blanched or sliced almonds. Pop them in a dry cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring around often until they get a little golden color and are aromatic.

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Wash a cup and a half or so of sugar snap peas pods. With a sharp knife, trim off the ends, pulling the hard “vein” off the edges. Cut each pod in half and set these aside for now.

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In a pot of water, cook your tortellini according to package directions. Three minutes prior to them being done, toss in the pea pods and let them cook with the pasta for those final 3 minutes. Just before draining the pasta, scoop out a half cup or so of the pasta water. Set that aside.

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Meanwhile, let’s make your pesto! Pick a cup of mint and a cup of Thai basil from your garden. You can use another basil if you like, but I like the peppery flavor of the Thai version. Discard any stiff stems. Give them a quick wash, pat dry with a paper towel and toss them in your food processor.

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Add in the toasted almonds, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest, a half teaspoon of black pepper, a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, and a roughly chopped clove of garlic.

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Process this until finely chopped. Scrape the side of the processor as needed.

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In a dish, combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of juice from your lemon. Whisk those together.

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Turn your processor back on, and slowly pour the oil mixture into the pesto.

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Look at all this fresh flavor in here.

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto from The Foodie Army Wife | #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Place your pasta and peas in a serving bowl. Add in your pesto and stir it all together. If the pesto is too thick, add a little of the pasta water as needed to help it spread over the tortellini.

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto from The Foodie Army Wife | #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Enjoy!

Garden Tortellini 2

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto from The Foodie Army Wife | #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto

Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto from Cosmopolitan Cornbread | #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams
Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto made from fresh herbs out of your garden.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c blanched or sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 c sugar snap pea pods
  • 1 package frozen or fresh tortellini
  • 1 c fresh mint leaves
  • 1 c fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 Tb Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tb fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tb fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. For my tortellini with garden fresh pesto, begin by toasting a quarter cup of blanched or sliced almonds. Pop them in a dry cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring around often until they get a little golden color and are aromatic.
  2. Wash a cup and a half or so of sugar snap peas pods. With a sharp knife, trim off the ends, pulling the hard “vein” off the edges. Cut each pod in half and set these aside for now.
  3. In a pot of water, cook your tortellini according to package directions. Three minutes prior to them being done, toss in the pea pods and let them cook with the pasta for those final 3 minutes. Just before draining the pasta, scoop out a half cup or so of the pasta water. Set that aside.
  4. Meanwhile, let’s make your pesto! Pick a cup of mint and a cup of Thai basil from your garden. You can use another basil if you like, but I like the peppery flavor of the Thai version. Discard any stiff stems. Give them a quick wash, pat dry with a paper towel and toss them in your food processor.
  5. Add in the toasted almonds, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest, a half teaspoon of black pepper, a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, and a roughly chopped clove of garlic.
  6. Process this until finely chopped. Scrape the side of the processor as needed.In a dish, combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of juice from
  7. your lemon. Whisk those together.
  8. Turn your processor back on, and slowly pour the oil mixture into the pesto.
  9. Place your pasta and peas in a serving bowl. Add in your pesto and stir it all together. If the pesto is too thick, add a little of the pasta water as needed to help it spread over the tortellini.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer: Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and estimated by a service called Nutritionix. That is a web-based nutritional calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. If the nutritional information is vital to you please verify it using your favorite trusted source.

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29 thoughts on “Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto”

  1. I had no idea you could grow corn in pots!! I need to do this! How big were the pots, when did you plant, how many plants per pot? Sorry, I am just so excited LOL Anyway, your dish, yesssss your dish is lovely. I adore pesto :)

    Reply
    • LOL! I used the round green ones you can see on my back porch on one of the photos. I planted one stalk per pot and planted shorter plants (tomatoes, peppers, flower to draw the pollinators) around the bases of the corn stalks. I didn’t grow a ton of corn, but we did enjoy that one year :)

      Reply
  2. Your garden is incredible! I’m so jealous of everything you produced from it. Now this tortellini is right up my alley. I love making tortellini in the salads with just some fresh veggies added in.

    Reply
  3. What a beautiful pesto! I have an allergy to tree nuts, but almonds are ok. I never thought to put them in pesto, and I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
  4. Oh yes I also love growing my vegetables and herbs in pots. So gratifying to grow your own.

    What a lovely and creative recipe. Perfect!

    Reply
  5. I love a good pesto made with fresh herbs! All those containers are inspiring! Ready, set, garden!

    Reply
  6. Your “temporary” gardens are so inspiring. What a harvest! And I love the flavors and textures in this dish!

    Reply
  7. I love Thai basil too (and have it growing in my garden this year). I’m loving that you used it for pesto and I can’t wait to make some of my own. Yum!

    Reply
  8. I have tried desperately to grow things here is Western NY and by the time I am done, those few tiny tomato’s cost me a literal fortune. There is just two of us and we live in an older house that is freezing in winter, so cannot even grow things inside without it costing a fortune. Sigh……. In summer we use the out door market which is great, but in winter….not so much. Food is getting so expensive now and frugal is my new name. We are retired and our budget is small, but it is fun to see just how much we CAN do and still eat well. Thanks for your blog. Means so much! Blessings.

    Reply

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