Recipe: Barilla Tortellini Formaggi (cheese) with pesto and crispy salami threads

Quick and easy dinners are my favourite kind. Ones that also include cheese is a big plus.

Recently I was sent some pasta and sauces from Barilla to sample.

At first, I was a little confused that dried egg tortellini could contain ricotta and Grana Padano cheese in the form of a shelf pasta. Still, I’m not one to knock things back. The cheese filling had subtle flavour – I didn’t expect a big cheesy hit from shelf cheese/pasta. It had very soft filling once cooked. The egg pasta was tasty and held onto the sauce well. Egg pasta is always my favourite as it has more flavour over durum wheat pastas.

Pasta served with pesto is one of my favourite simple Italian combinations. So of course I went to sample the pesto first! I was surprised at how flavourful and rich the pesto tasted for a jarred creation. They use fresh basil, Pecorino Romano and Grana Padano in their pesto and the result is something that tastes delicious. Some other pesto sauces can be quite chunky but their pesto is quite creamy and smooth. I think this works great for stirring through freshly cooked pasta.

I love any excuse to eat salami too and the addition of crispy salami threads looks impressive with minimum effort involved.

Tortellini Formaggi (cheese) with pesto and crispy salami threads

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Barilla Tortellini Formaggi
  • 3 tbs Barilla Pesto alla Genovese
  • 100g of thinly sliced salami, shredded into threads

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add salt as it reaches a fast simmer.
  2. Once boiling, cook pasta for 11 minutes. Drain whilst reserving 2-3 tbs of cooking water in the pot. Return pasta to pot and stir in pesto.
  3. In a heated pan, fry salami over high heat for 1 minute or until crispy. There shouldn’t be a need to add oil as the fat will render out from the salami which helps to crisp it up even more.
  4. Serve pasta topped with salami. Add some grated parmesan on top if you feel like more cheese.

Notes:

Firstly, I’d like to honestly mention that at first Barilla wasn’t the best company. Their traditional family ideals as brought up by Barilla chairman, Guido Barilla, meant that homosexuality didn’t fit in that picture. Going as far to say, “If gays don’t like it, they can choose another pasta”. This lead to a massive backlash of boycotting Barilla products. However, since then they have released an apology and pledged to promote diversity. That a major company is willing to admit their ignorance and actively try to change their ways is a refreshing change that I hope many others could follow. Example here. [Please note this is my personal opinion formed out of my own research into Barilla.]

The pasta packet suggests that this serves 3. Perhaps if it was served with a bulkier sauce with lots of meat and/or vegetables or as an entrée I’d believe so. This served two of us comfortably, with enough space for dessert.

With the convenience of pasta and pasta sauces plus the ability to make bulk quantities of pasta (and freezer-friendly!), pasta dishes are a super easy go-to option for quick and easy dinners. Adding different meat and vegetables, or choosing between cream or tomato-based sauces means that you have unlimited options. One could never get sick of pasta.

Did I mention cheese? Any dish with cheese is a good one!

This recipe post used tortellini formaggi and pesto alla genovese supplied by Barilla. 

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