Cheese Tortellini Salad with Anchovy Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Pesto is a great addition to almost any pasta dish. Great pasta subs are ravioli, orecchiette, or bucatini. Sun-dried tomatoes are an easy addition when fresh grape or cherry tomatoes are not in season, but if fresh is available, they’re a perfect substitution.
- 8 ounces cheese tortellini store-bought
- 1 3- to 4- ounce can anchovies packed in oil
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves plus ¼ cup torn for garnish
- 3 tablespoons walnuts chopped
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Juice of half a lemon about ¼ cup
- 4 tablespoons Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes coarsely chopped
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- ►Cook tortellini according to package directions until al dente. Strain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
- ►Combine anchovies, basil leaves, walnuts, and garlic in a blender for 5 pulses, until mixture appears roughly chopped. Set to “blend” and slowly add olive oil and lemon juice until well incorporated into a thick and creamy paste, about 30 seconds.
- ►Add Pecorino Romano and black pepper and pulse another 5 times to blend. Set aside.
- ►Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta to the pan, stirring to coat & heat.
- ►Add 4 to 6 tablespoons of pesto mixture and toss to coat. Stir in a small amount of pasta water to moisten pasta and to help pesto to coat evenly. Add more pasta water or pesto if needed. Add a pinch of crushed pepper flakes and stir to finish.
- ►Plate pasta and serve with lemon, torn basil leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, and extra Pecorino Romano on the side.