Looks good, doesn’t it? The name just doesn’t do it justice, though. Maybe I should have named it something fancy and exotic, but alas, I didn’t. What can I say? I’m plain Jane boring! I’m beige. Neutral. I also never paint my nails, don’t have a credit card and haven’t worn anything but chap stick since the day my son was born, so coming up with boring and generic recipe names is my niche!
While in reality, we’re talking about a mind-blowing pasta dish made from cheese tortellini with a rich, decadent and sinfully good walnut, mascarpone & parmesan sauce. Easy to make, with a subtle blend of flavors and a huge visual impact. Elegant and autumny. You’ll love it!
1/2 a small onion
1 garlic clove
3 oz walnuts
7 oz tortellini (cheese or spinach)
4 tbsp mascarpone
1 oz parmesan
1 tbsp oil
* I cooked this as a side dish for two.
Roughly 7 oz walnuts. You can use them like this, but I’m toasting them to bring out their nutty flavor even more. Reserve 3 or 4 for garnish.
Toast them for a minute or 2 in a dry, hot skillet and then transfer them to a food processor or blender and blitz ‘em.
Finely mince half a small onion. I suppose you could leave it out, but I’d be seriously disappointed in you! What’s also really tasty is adding some finely chopped mixed mushrooms!
Grate one large or two medium garlic cloves. I used fresh garlic because, well… nothing beats fresh garlic.
Mascarpone is food for the Gods… a divine polyvalent. You can wake me up for this this stuff! Add 5 slightly heaping tbsp to a bowl.
I bought the good stuff, but if you want to use the canned parmesan, be my guest. I won’t judge you!
Add about 1 oz grated parmesan to the mascarpone. I usually eyeball the amount. More is far better than less this time ’round! Mix it up.
Also chop some fresh flat-leaf parsley. It’ll add a nice earthy flavor without being too overpowering, like basil would be.
I like to use the cheese or spinach tortellini for this. Boil the tortellini in salted water according to the instructions on the package.
While the pasta is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce. Heat a tiny drop of olive oil and sautee the onions until soft but not brown. This will probably take 5 minutes.
As soon as the onion is soft, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute before adding the mascarpone and parmesan mix. Stir gently while the cheese melts before adding the walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lemon zest or juice also adds a wonderful flavor!
I never drain the pasta, in stead I transfer it straight from the boiling water to the sauce. This way a little of the cooking liquid ends up in the sauce as well.
Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. You’re done. Finito.
Coarsely chop the walnuts you reserved and sprinkle them over the pasta, along with some Parmesan curls.
You can eat it like this, but it works even better as a side dish with some grilled meat or chicken. It’s really a simple dish, only a handful ingredients, but so rich, elegant and tasty.
Kay’s Recipe Note:
Click here for printable size.