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Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas, and Mint


Serves 4 to 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

This easy weeknight recipe is a complete one-dish meal. Cooking the pasta, peas, and asparagus together is efficient, and adding goat cheese at the end creates a creamy sauce.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 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.

Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, 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.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 220, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 16, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12, Carbohydrates (mg): 44, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4.5, Sodium (g): 620, Cholesterol (g): 35, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I make this recipe every spring for the last three years! It is a true weeknight winner. I prefer to grill the asparagus before adding them to the pasta, and I use much more goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. The more cheese the better for me! Fine cooking's recipes are instrumental in my repertoire, and this one is no different. Thank you!

WOW! This is the finest of Fine Cooking. The flavors are a perfect combination, so fresh and full of Spring! I cut down on the olive oil as suggested by another reviewer and still needed no pasta water. The suggestion of Red Zin for wine was spot on! YUM!!

So easy! So good! This is going to be part of the regular spring rotation.

Positively delicious. A lovely spring pasta. I made with penne and added some crisped prosciutto on top, as other reviewers suggested. I thought the mint added an important dimension. Will definitely make again (is tomorrow too soon?!!)

Wow. What an amazing recipe. My hubby and I aren't huge mint fans so I subbed Italian parsley. Also, used an herbed cheese tortellini and Georgia Olive Farms evoo. To die for!

WOW! Fabulous! This reminded me of the bow-tie primavera recipe as you cook the veggies with the pasta. I used less olive oil (1/4 cup), and zapped it with the garlic in the microwave for 15 seconds to help it infuse. I also added about 3 TBS of crumbled bacon. I think it would also work well with chopped sundried tomatoes. Omitted the mint since I didn't have any in the garden. Had no need for the pasta water. What an amazing, quick husband couldn't stop eating it. A keeper!

Got 20 minutes? Try this excellent spring dish.

Really good!! Fresh and healthy. I added some cooked, crumbled prosciutto, but it would have been great without it. Served it with mixed fruit in a lime juice, honey, mint dressing.

Followed the recipe to a T. We added Saputo Parmesan petals to the top and wow fantastic. A real keeper as I would say. Enjoy.

Easy to prepare, great Spring flavors and chock full of veg servings. I like the texture contrast of the soft tortellini and al dente asparagus--2 min cook time is the sweet spot for the asparagus. I've made it with multiple kinds of tortellini and both Goat and Parmesan cheeses and it's proven very adaptable. Definitely part of my Spring rotation now.

This was a fantastic recipe. Very easy to prepare, and with fresh peas and the mint, it was a springtime hit! My husband does not like vegetarian dishes in general, but he was hunting down the leftovers from this meal!

Very fast and tasty. I did use more goat cheese as I was trying to use it up.

Was quite good by itself. Even better with a little garlic bread as a side. Used 3/4 lb spaghetti as I did not have tortellini. Used slightly toasted and chopped walnuts as I did not have pine nuts. Would be really good with a little bacon or prosciutto. Be careful not to boil the asparagus longer than about 3-5 minutes. It gets soft fairly quickly. I cooked the asparagus first (boiled) and then removed it and then made the pasta and mixed it all together. Now that I've tried it, I would put the aparagus and peas in about 4 minutes before the spaghetti is done.

This was delicious, fast, and easy to make. My husband and I both loved it. I might add a bit more goat cheese next time,but no changes other than that.

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