Lately, I feel like it's a race against the clock to enjoy every bit of summer that's left before the kids go back to school and life returns to what I call "chaotic normalcy." From endless hours of lunch packing and homework to ballet auditions and rehearsals to soccer practices and Saturday morning games, the days will once again begin to blend right into the next. Speaking of ballet, I am so over the top excited and proud about my daughter's ballet teacher's phenomenal success on America's Got Talent (Blue Journey). I hope you are watching and voting for this incredible dance team and we wish them the best of luck!
Ok, back to my point... I'm happy to say, there is still a good amount of summer left here in NJ to enjoy! I also have some exciting things going on next week that I can't wait to share with all of you!
You may want to keep this week's recipe in mind for those crazy nights when you literally need to put something together in less than 20 min. I use kale instead of the traditional basil for this pesto and bright colorful cherry tomatoes, which are so bursting with flavor this time of year I want to add them to just about everything!
But, be smart about the tortellini you use for this recipe. Many pre-packaged brands contain extremely high amounts of sodium and artificial ingredients. If you need help searching for a healthier version of any particular food, try using the app/site Fooducate (search "tortellini"). I buy Whole Foods homemade tortellini brand, but a good Italian specialty store is likely to have some fresh, quality tortellini that will really make a significant difference in the taste of this dish.
Quick Weeknight Meal: Tortellini Salad with Kale Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 large handfuls roughly chopped kale
- 8 oz. package tortellini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 basil leaves chiffonade
- dash sea salt to taste
- dash pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp reserved pasta water
- Bring salted pot of water to a boil and begin to cook tortellini according to package instructions.
- Combine kale, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and pasta water in a food processor.
- Begin to pour olive oil through the top and pulse until you begin to get a creamy (but not soupy) consistency.
- Drain tortellini and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add pesto and cherry tomatoes and gently toss to combine.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed OR grate some fresh parmesan cheese over top.
- Top with some fresh basil.