A box of spaghetti might seem like the obvious choice for a quick and easy pantry pasta, but cute and curvy tortellini is just as fun and simple — and boasts a creamy, cheesy filling that spaghetti just can’t compete with. My current favorite iteration involves a mix of colorful roasted vegetables and a garlicky pesto, and it’s great eaten warm for dinner or cold as pasta salad for lunch the next day.
An Easy Pasta That Starts with Store-Bought Favorites
While you’re grabbing a few packages of fresh cheese tortellini from the dairy aisle at the grocery store, pick up that tub of basil pesto next to it. The refrigerated varieties tend to be better-tasting — brighter and more herb-packed — than the jars a few aisles over in the dry pasta section. The vibrant pesto instantly marries the tortellini and roasted zucchini, tomatoes, and red onion to turn it into a stellar yet simple meal.
Pesto Tortellini with Roasted Vegetables
medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
small red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pint
cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons
Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (9-ounce) packages
fresh cheese tortellini
- 1/3 cup
store-bought or homemade basil pesto
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Meanwhile, halve 1 medium zucchini, then cut into thin half-moons. Cut 1 small red onion into small chunks.
Place the zucchini, red onion, and 1 pint cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat and spread in an even layer. Roast until tender and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
When the vegeables are ready, add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and return the tortellini to the the pot off the heat. Add the roasted vegetables and 1/3 cup basil pesto, and toss well to combine.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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