Oct 26, 2009

Tortellini with Walnut & Mascarpone Sauce


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
flat-leaf parsley
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:

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    1. 1

      This looks so simple and delicious. I have some tortellini in my fridge right now…so now I know what I’m having for dinner. Thanks!

      Carrie Z on Oct 26, 2009 @ 1:14 pm Reply
    2. 2


      thanks, kay!!!

      terri on Oct 26, 2009 @ 1:46 pm Reply
    3. 3

      This looks really good and so simple.

      Susan on Oct 26, 2009 @ 4:52 pm Reply
    4. 4

      dang girl……………my olde hips are spreading……….but this looks quite tasty.

      doodles on Oct 26, 2009 @ 8:23 pm Reply
    5. 5

      I’m heading to Trader Joe’s where I like to buy my pasta. I have a LOT of walnuts, so this recipe is a perfect way to make this dish. I love it! Thanks!

      Debby Farmer on Oct 26, 2009 @ 8:58 pm Reply
    6. 6

      This does look super decadent and delicious – yum!

      Kerstin on Oct 26, 2009 @ 9:07 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Oh, that looks absolutely scrumptious! I love cheese and nuts together, and it doesn’t happen nearly often enough for me. This looks like it would be delicious, and fantastically simple to make!

      Jessie on Oct 26, 2009 @ 10:01 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I have been making my own mascarpone cheese… this looks like something I need to try!
      I’ve linked up to you in a post~ your blog always makes me smile.

      sandi on Oct 27, 2009 @ 3:45 am Reply
    9. 9

      This looks really REALLY good, Kay!

      Maria on Oct 27, 2009 @ 9:37 am Reply
    10. 10

      It looks so yummy. I’m definitely trying this!

      Kathy on Oct 27, 2009 @ 9:47 am Reply
    11. 11


      I have been making my own mascarpone cheese

      That sounds wonderful. Care to share the secret?

      Kay on Oct 27, 2009 @ 10:07 am Reply
    12. 12

      YUM!!!! I will make that using gluten-free brown rice pasta instead of those tasty lil tortellini!!!

      Kath on Oct 27, 2009 @ 7:39 pm Reply
    13. 13

      whoa, that looks unbelievably amazing! I will try next time I’m in the mood for tortellini.

      The Stoner Gourmand on Oct 28, 2009 @ 2:50 am Reply
    14. 14

      Just cooked this for dinner. Sooooo delicious! Thanks Kay.x

      Ash on Oct 29, 2009 @ 11:47 pm Reply
    15. 15

      A walnut pasta sauce sounds really good!

      Kevin on Nov 1, 2009 @ 5:38 pm Reply
    16. 16

      hi Kay!! i went on the hunt for the homemade mascarpone, you’ve probably found it already, but here…it’s on sandi’s blog whistlestop cafe cooking, on her July 14-15 2009 posts….looks easy, i think i’ll try it too, although i’ll need to find out what tartaric acid is in german!? lol

      stacey on Mar 24, 2010 @ 2:24 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Oh my god was this good! I made it the other day and might I add my first time trying mascarpone cheese it was great.Unfortunately mascarpone isn’t popular in my neck of the woods I hit up five shops and then finally found it at Whole Food Store. They had a massive cheese bar.

      Christy on Apr 10, 2010 @ 8:43 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Looks really nice, I need to get the ingredients, and cook that. Im getting hungry.

      Weddings on Nov 25, 2010 @ 5:21 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Omg! Just like its made in Italy! My favs thanks!

      janine on Dec 28, 2011 @ 9:15 pm Reply
    20. 20

      from someone who still struggles with the fine art of boiling water… is it 3 ounces of walnuts as listed in the ingredients or 7 ounces like in the directions? help! i’m soooo confused!

      kennedy on Aug 1, 2012 @ 2:26 am Reply

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